Seventeen different teams have played five or more games in this young NBA season. Twelve more teams have played four games. The Minnesota Timberwolves are the only team in the NBA that have played less than four games this season.
Tonight they face the Miami Heat who are 2-2 on the season and are looking to rebound from a 92-98 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Miami earlier this week. The Heat committed a season-high 19 turnovers while finishing with a season-low 13 assists.
One bright spot for the Miami Heat this season has been the play from Dwyane Wade. Wade has began the season with four-straight 20-point outings, despite dealing with some migraines over that time.
The matchup between himself and Andrew Wiggins is one that will certainly be something to look forward to. The matchups between these two a season ago were very fun to watch and it was especially cool to see Wade talking with Wiggins after the game, asking him if he wants to be a great player in this League.
Wiggins, unfortunately, has struggled to begin the season. Through three games he's averaging just 30% shooting from the field, while going 0-for-6 from deep, and committing 3.0 turnovers per game. In Minnesota's 101-106 loss to Portland earlier this week he did finish with 16 points, but shot 5-for-17 from the field.
Minnesota's best player this season has been Karl-Anthony Towns. He's done a bit of everything for Minnesota. Through three games he's averaging 17.7 points (2nd among rookies), 10.3 rebounds (1st among rookies, 9th in NBA), and 2.7 blocks (1st among rookies, 7th in the NBA). In his first two games (@LAL & @DEN) he compiled 42 points and 26 rebounds. In the loss vs. Portland he finished with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 5 turnovers, and 5 fouls, so he'll be looking for a bounce back game himself.
However, Towns will be facing the best defensive NBA center he's seen this season. In his first three games, KAT matched up with Roy Hibbert (LAL), Joffrey Lauvergne (DEN), and Mason Plumlee (POR). Tonight he gets Hassan Whiteside, an athletic big known primarily for his shot-blocking prowess as well as his rebounding ability. Whiteside had the lone 20-20 game of his career a season ago in Minneapolis, when he finished with 24 points & 20 rebounds.
The Timberwolves are seeking their first home win, while the Miami Heat are in search of their first road win.
The Timberwolves will be without Nikola Pekovic (achilles). Kevin Martin missed the last two days of practice for "personal reasons", but is expected to suit up and play tonight. The Heat will be without Gerald Green, who is averaging 10.3 points off the bench for Miami this season. He missed Tuesday's game vs. Atlanta and was admitted to an undisclosed hospital on Wednesday for unknown reasons.
Tipoff is set for 7pmCT from the Target Center. Enjoy the game and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!