The last time that the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzlies played, the Grizzlies barely escaped with a win on opening night. The Timberwolves led that game with 1:45 to go before the Grizzlies went on an 11-5 run to end the game to get head coach David Fizdale his first win as head coach.
''When we go back and we look into it, we're going to see that the defense wasn't good enough,'' Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game. ''The rebounding wasn't good enough. The turnovers weren't bad, but, you know, some of the mental mistakes got us down the stretch.''
Last Time Out
The last time that the Timberwolves took the floor, they lost 106-103 to the Sacramento Kings in another game that saw the Timberwolves blow a lead. They led 65-54 at halftime, but the Kings outscored Minnesota 31-12 in the third quarter to take an 85-77 lead into the fourth, where Minnesota was unable to mount a late comeback. Andrew Wiggins led the Timberwolves with 29 points, while Zach Lavine added 21 points.
Memphis meanwhile is coming off an 112-103 overtime win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday night thanks to multiple late three-pointers made by Marc Gasol. In that game, Washington had a 96-88 lead with three minutes left but was unable to maintain it, as Gasol made two big shots down the stretch, and added eight points in the extra session. The Wizards had a chance to win it, but a last-second shot by John Wall missed the mark, and the game went to overtime.
These two teams are familiar with each other, as they last played just a week ago when the Grizzlies opened the season with a come from behind win over Minnesota. The Grizzlies were led that night by Mike Conley, who scored 24 points. Gasol added 18 points while Zach Randolph added 19 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.
Minnesota also got big performances, as Wiggins scored 25 points while reigning rookie of the year Karl-Anthony Towns scored 21 points. Lavine added 19 points in what turned out to be a losing effort. Minnesota did get some good news out of the game, as Kris Dunn made his NBA debut after being drafted with the 5th overall pick. He finished with eight points in 15 minutes.
Players to Watch
For Minnesota, the player to watch is Wiggins, who led the Timberwolves in scoring and minutes last time the teams played. It will be interesting to see how the Grizzlies try and stop him on Tuesday.
For Memphis, James Ennis will be the one to watch. He scored 15 points last Wednesday, but more importantly, he is the one who will most likely be matched up against Wiggins.
Minnesota fans will be able to catch the game on Fox Sports North, while WCCO Radio will have the radio broadcast. Memphis fans will be able to watch the game on Fox Sports Southeast, with the radio broadcast being on WMFS.
News and Notes
- Minnesota native Tyus Jones has yet to make his season debut in his second professional season. He came out of Apple Valley (MN) High School as the second-best prospect in the nation and ended up doing one year of college at Duke, where he won a national championship. In 37 games last season, Jones averaged just 4.2 points, 2.9 assists,and 1.3 rebounds per game.
- Kevin Garnett, who spent most of his career with the Timberwolves and recently retired was back in the news last week, as it was announced that he was joining the TNT program "Inside the NBA" as a special guest analyst.