Karl-Anthony Towns debuts Naz Reid shineLuka Garza closein a
ผู้เขียน: | เวลา:2022-11-24 00:39 | เรียกดู:

Karl-Anthony Townsmade his preseason debut carrying a lot less weight and a lot more rust than normal. It took him a little over two quarters to find a rhythm in his first game action since the playoffs last season. Now allMinnesota Timberwolvesfans are waiting for is to see the Northern Heights in all their glory.

WithRudy Gobertwatching from the bench while taking the night off, Towns worked through the kinks withNaz Reidnext to him in the frontcourt rather than the three-time defensive player of the year. After missing his first four shots, Towns finished with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists in 26 minutes of a 119-117 preseason win over theClippersin Los Angeles on Sunday night.

Towns missed the first week of training camp and the first two preseason gamesafter being hospitalizedwith an infection that had him on heavy medications and unable to eat much, which led to considerable weight loss. He rejoined the team for practice last Monday but is about 17 pounds under his playing weight of 248. It figures to take some time for Towns to put some of the weight back onto a noticeably skinnier frame. But it took considerably less time for him to find a rhythm with the ball in his hands.

He missed a baseline floater badly, a tip-in off a miss byAnthony Edwardsand watchedKawhi Leonardjust take the ball from him while he dribbled it into the frontcourt during a 17-5 start for the Clippers. But after starting 0 of 4, Towns hit five of his next seven shots, including three 3-pointers in the third quarter to help the Wolves erase an 18-point first-half deficit.

Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves)October 10, 2022

Leonard only played in the first half, which certainly contributed to the Wolves outscoring the Clippers 38-31 in the third quarter, and to Towns finding good looks that werent there earlier in the game. But Towns passing was on point all night, an encouraging sign for when Gobert shares the floor with him and requires Towns to move the ball crisply and responsibly without the wild turnovers that have plagued him in the past.

KAT looked very comfortable with pocket passes off of drives, give-and-gos withDAngelo Russell(more on that later) and flares to the corner for wide-open looks.

Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves)October 10, 2022

If this two-big configuration is going to work, Towns is going to have to make the right passes when the defense converges on him and turns its attention away from Gobert, the only real non-shooter in the starting lineup. Towns has averaged at least 3.1 turnovers per game in each of the last four seasons. In the playoff series againstMemphis, he turned it over 4.5 times per game. Smarter passes and fewer offensive fouls will go a long way toward bringing that number down.

He says he is ready for the challenge.

Ive always had to change my game due to the matchups or opposing team, or injuries or whatever the case our team may need that night, Towns said last week. Some nights Im gonna have to be a bruiser and Im going to have to be a presence in the paint. Some nights were going to need me to be out on the perimeter and shoot 3s at a high rate and make at a high rate.

The Wolves have two more preseason games, one in Los Angeles against theLakerson Wednesday and one at home against theNetson Friday. Getting back on the court was step one for Towns. Getting on the court with Gobert is the last threshold to cross.

With Gobert getting a rest night, Reid got another start in the frontcourt, this time alongside Towns. The KAT-Naz pairing has not been a strong one historically, and the unit wasnt sharp in the early going against the Clippers starters.

But once Towns went to the bench and Reid was the lone big against the second unit, he put his stamp on the game. Reid had 20 points and 11 rebounds and went 9 of 13 from the field to spearhead the Wolves comeback from 18 points down.

dance on em, Naz.