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Thursday, May 26, 2022

3 Reasons Why the Minnesota Timberwolves Can Upset the Grizzlies and Shake Up the West

The Memphis Grizzlies are the reigning Western Conference champions and they have a stacked roster in place. However, the Minnesota Timberwolves will offer them an interesting test this evening. The matchup is one of three games that feature teams with winning records vs those without. Look out for the Wolves to upset tonight!

The “minnesota timberwolves record” is a team that has been struggling to find their footing in the Western Conference. They are currently 13-17 and have a chance to make some noise against the Memphis Grizzlies. The article discusses 3 reasons why they can upset the Grizzlies and shake up the West.

For the first time since 2018, the Minnesota Timberwolves are back in the Western Conference Playoffs, and they’re off to a fast start. 

Minnesota defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA Play-in Tournament, 46-36, to earn the seventh seed in the West. Minnesota secured a first-round series against the two-seeded Memphis Grizzlies as a result of their victory.

Minnesota won Game 1 by a score of 130-117. This was a squad that was hovering around.500 at the midpoint of the season, found its stride in the second half, and has so far wowed in the NBA Playoffs. The Timberwolves have the ability to upset the Grizzlies and throw a monkey wrench into the Western Conference playoffs.

The Minnesota Timberwolves feature three of the best scorers in the league.

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A club that wants to compete for an NBA title needs a few of high-level scorers or at the very least a bunch of well-rounded players on the offensive end of the court. Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D’Angelo Russell are three players on the Timberwolves that can score at a high level. 

Towns is one of the most difficult players in the NBA to slow down. He is capable of doing a little bit of everything. The center slams the ball in the paint, hits the boards at a reasonable rate, and is one of the best shooters in the league. Towns made up for fouling out in the Play-in Tournament against the Clippers by scoring 29 points in Game 1 of Minnesota’s first-round series against the Grizzlies.

Edwards has capitalized on a promising first season with a resounding victory. He’s developed into a prolific scorer who can make shots from everywhere on the court and score off the dribble. He averaged 21.3 points per game during the regular season, including a season-high 36 points in Game 1 against Memphis.

Russell is also a smooth floor general. Whether he’s shooting a perimeter jumper, driving to the basket, or facilitating for his teammates, he’s capable of moving the ball up the floor and generating offense off the dribble. The guard had a career-high 7.1 assists per game during the regular season. The idea that a guy with Russell’s background is Minnesota’s third leading scorer is scary enough.

One of the top scoring trios in the NBA is Towns, Edwards, and Russell. 

The Minnesota Timberwolves have enough offensive depth to keep the Memphis Grizzlies and the rest of the Western Conference on their heels. 

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley dribbles the ball up the court.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley dribbles the ball up the court. Patrick Beverley of the Minnesota Timberwolves in action. | Getty Images/Justin Ford

The Timberwolves have three All-Star-caliber scorers, as previously said. They do, however, have a dynamic and rich offensive in addition to those huge stars.

Patrick Beverley is a solid defender with an above-average jump shooting. Malik Beasley has a track record as a perimeter shooter. Jarred Vanderbilt and Jaden McDaniels both score in the paint, with the former capable of extending the floor. Jaylen Nowell offers immediate scoring, and Naz Reid, who comes off the bench, is a starting-caliber center. Of course, this skill complements the team’s top three scorers (Towns, Edwards and Russell).

Chris Finch, the head coach, has a mix of star power, experienced veterans, and youth on his team. That’s an intriguing combo with a lot of potential. It’s also one of the NBA’s most enthralling offenses. Minnesota was first in the NBA in points (115.9) and sixth in assists per game during the regular season (25.7). 

Of sure, the West has plenty of offensive firepower. The Phoenix Suns are headed by Devin Booker and Chris Paul, who run a well-oiled machine. The Golden State Warriors are a mix of stars and lottery picks in the making. The Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz are two teams with efficient offenses. The Dallas Mavericks are a strong defensive squad with a few scorers that are always developing.

Memphis is no different in Minnesota’s first-round series, with Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, and Desmond Bane leading a talented and dangerous club. At the same time, the Timberwolves are hitting defenses from all aspects, much like the Grizzlies. The sole difference between them is their seeding.

Minnesota Timberwolves playoff experience is similar to those of other Western Conference rivals.

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The core of the Grizzlies has yet to win a postseason series. Although Minnesota’s core is in the similar predicament, several of their finest players have playoff experience.

Towns was a member of Minnesota’s previous playoff club. Russell was the offensive leader for the Brooklyn Nets in 2019. During his NBA career, Beverley has appeared in more than 50 playoff games. Beasley was previously a member of a promising Nuggets squad. Taurean Prince was a member of an Atlanta Hawks squad that reached the playoffs in 2016-17.

The majority of the teams the Timberwolves will face in the playoffs if they move beyond the first round are ones who have had a lot of success and have a lot of playoff experience. Outside of the Warriors, none of these cores have ever won an NBA title. 

It’s also worth mentioning that seedings in the West don’t really matter at this time of year. To win and go to the NBA Finals, you must defeat three excellent teams in some fashion.

The Timberwolves have a chance to shock the Grizzlies and battle their way through the remainder of the season. Minnesota will be a team to watch if they continue to develop and progress.

Basketball-Reference.com provided the statistics.

RELATED: The Timberwolves Want Karl-Anthony Towns to Stay in Minnesota for $230 Million

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