NBA: Preseason Game Preview #1: Wolves at Heat

Who: Minnesota Timberwolves (0-0) at Miami Heat (0-0)

When: 6:30 PM CT

TV: Bally Sports North Extra

Radio: Audacy App (WCCO-2)

Line: Wolves +5.5 (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)

158 agonizingly lengthy days after their Game 6 playoff loss, the Minnesota Timberwolves are in any case again in motion this night to open their preseason agenda in opposition to the Miami Heat down on South Beach.

The Heat don’t have many additions to talk of, as opposed to re-signing loose agent guards Victor Oladipo, who used to be a pleasing asset for Miami defensively within the playoffs remaining season, to a two-year, $18.2 million deal and Cody Martin to a three-year, $20.5 million deal. Pat Riley and Co. additionally drafted 19-year-old flexible stretch ahead Nikola Jović out of Serbia (no longer a typo) No. 27 total. Funny sufficient, Jović would’ve been my select the place the Wolves took Walker Kessler (No. 22 total).

While Jimmy Butler is out (relaxation) and we won’t see a lot of Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo or newly-extended Tyler Herro, the Heat have some intriguing intensity items in Martin, sharpshooters Max Strus and Duncan Robinson, and rock cast sophomore Ömer Yurtseven, an attractive 7-foot, 265-pound two-way heart, figures to play important mins within the front-court in opposition to the Wolves’ Naz Reid and Nathan Knight heart rotation this night.

As for the Wolves, there are 3 issues I’m going to be staring at out for.

Utah Jazz v Minnesota Timberwolves

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Back-Court Rotation

The fiercest preseason pageant for normal season mins in head trainer Chris Finch’s rotation is within the Wolves’ back-court. Jaylen Nowell is the incumbent candidate to fill that backup 2-guard spot after an excellent appearing remaining season, however new Denver Nuggets imports Austin Rivers (robust perimeter protection and cast playmaking off the soar), Bryn Forbes (sharpshooting from a standstill and rancid motion), and PJ Dozier (two-way athleticism, chopping and perimeter protection) determine to offer Nowell a run for his cash.

The great factor in regards to the Wolves intensity is that they may be able to be situational when it comes to which guards they deploy off the bench according to a given matchup that night time, however the most productive case state of affairs is unquestionably that Nowell’s protection has developed to a spot the place the offensive worth he drives is extra impactful than his defensive lapses.

Memphis Grizzlies v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Six

Photo via David Berding/Getty Images

Clarity on What Jaden McDaniels’ Role Could Be

Obviously we received’t perceive the entire context of what McDaniels can do in Year 3 till we see him available in the market with D’Angelo Russell, Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert at the similar time, however we’ll accept Big Mac along his fellow emerging famous person in Ant this night.

McDaniels spoke all the way through his go out interview with media in April about his hope to develop his offensive recreation, particularly his take care of, and he’s going to be able to flex that during reside NBA motion in opposition to a Heat crew that has some reputable defensive avid gamers at the perimeter.

While we all know what he can do defensively, the place Finch and Co. make a decision to deploy McDaniels on that finish of the ground. He is a weapon regardless of the place he’s positioned, whether or not it’s as a rotating low-man at the back-side of the protection or as a point-of-attack stopper who can fit up with level guards and larger, ball-handling wings like Butler. It’s a bummer we don’t get to peer if he can do the latter with out fouling in opposition to an All-NBA skill.

2022 NBA Rookie Portraits

Photo via Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Will Wendell Moore Jr. Look More Comfortable With NBA Teammates?

The Wolves’ 2022 first-round select used to be an incredible complementary cog within the Duke Basketball gadget all the way through his time in Durham, however struggled as a lead participant on Minnesota’s summer season league crew. He can be surrounded via a lot better skill now that he’s taking part in with the NBA squad, so it wouldn’t wonder me if he felt extra comfy taking part in off of extra top utilization avid gamers corresponding to Nowell, Edwards, Rivers or AJ Lawson off the bench.

With Russell no longer taking part in this night, both, it will make sense to peer Moore Jr. take care of the ball at the next price, as he did all the way through the crew’s keep in Las Vegas. But he received’t be relied upon because the No. 1 offensive choice, which is a horny important transfer — person who places Moore Jr. again in his convenience zone of constructing everybody higher and getting his when the learn requires it.

No topic what occurs this night, it’s essential to keep in mind that the Wolves have no longer one, however two nationally televised preseason video games — on Sunday vs the Los Angeles Lakers in Las Vegas and subsequent Wednesday in opposition to the Lakers as soon as once more, however in LA — and 5 preseason video games total.

The Timberwolves neatly don’t wish to put on out any one. Given their 20-man roster getting into this night’s recreation, it makes whole sense to carry out somebody they plan on ramping up within the coming days.



  • Rudy Gobert
  • D’Angelo Russell
  • Karl-Anthony Towns



  • Jimmy Butler
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Gabe Vincent

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