After a full week of Minnesota Timberwolves basketball drama, the rumors and eruptions have certainly quieted down.
After opening the season with a loss to the San Antonio Spurs 112-108, the Wolves have not lost when Jimmy Butler has been on the floor. Their record is 2-2, with the other loss coming against the Dallas Mavericks when Butler was inactive due to rest.
The Wolves won by ten points 101-91 against the Indiana Pacers. This was the first time this season that the Wolves have held a team under 100 points.
Clamping down on defense is a staple of Tom Thibodeau teams, especially with his stints in Chicago and being an assistant head coach to Doc Rivers in Boston during their championship runs with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Jimmy Butler, who is known for being a defensive type player was very pleased “We played a little bit of defense finally,” Butler said. “It felt good”.
Defense is not seeming to be a focus of the NBA teams and the players. Teams are averaging more points than ever and the pace is at an all time high.
The Timberwolves must make a habit of shutting teams down, being that they’re in the Western Conference that features tons of offensive firepower.
Minnesota also played most of Monday’s game without forward Andrew Wiggins, who exited in the first quarter due to a right quad contusion and did not return. Wiggins scored two points in eight minutes before the injury.
Thibodeau said Wiggins is day-to-day. Wiggins, a Toronto native, indicated that he’ll play Wednesday at the Raptors, when he spoke after the game on Monday.
The Timberwolves after their game against the Pacers sit at 2-2 with their next six games all coming against playoff teams from last season.
The talks and the simmers of Jimmy Butler’s trade have died down since Butler’s fiery explosion at his first practice.
Their matchup against the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night appears to a matchup featuring two of the top two-way players in the game as the Wolves travel north to Toronto to battle the Raptors.
The Raptors are 4-0 with wins over good teams, like the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. The Wolves are sure to be in for a tough matchup as the Raptors are favored to win by a whopping 76% of sports betters.
Feature photo courtesy of the Associated Press.