Star of the Game
In a must win game, Memphis showed up and made some serious adjustments after losing the first game, and Minnesota’s energy shifted entirely. Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns were the most dominant Wolves players, but they were no where near as aggressive as before. Edwards scored 20 points with six rebounds, but he also had five turnovers. Towns managed 15 points after only taking seven shots in the game. He did have 11 rebounds, but he also matched Edwards with five turnovers. These two need to come back with a big adjustment ready to smash game three.
It would be easy to chalk this loss up to the 19 turnovers or the struggling defense, but there’s an even bigger variable in play. After Edwards and Towns shredded in game one, D’Angelo Russell should have recognized that the Grizzlies would be shifting their strategy to shutting these two down. This would give Russell plenty of opportunities to rip Memphis apart, forcing them to adjust again and reopen the opportunities for Edwards and Towns. Instead, Russell had 11 points, four assists, and two turnovers. This was his moment, but he let it slip by.
Number of the Night
This was the toughest category to determine after this game, because very few Timberwolves played well. After a combined 38 points in the first game, Beasley scored seven and McDaniels added two more in game two. Minnesota’s three point guards also shot a combined 6/19, and Jarred Vanderbilt had one point with two rebounds. Arguably the best supporting player was Naz Reid, who stepped up big in the play-in and did a lot less in the first game. Reid had 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, which was the only glimmer of hope from Minnesota’s bench.
The next game against Memphis will be played at the Target Center on Thursday at 6:30 CST.
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