Scouting Report | Wolves vs. Clippers
Here we are two days after the trade deadline and my goodness gracious do the Timberwolves have a completely different roster.
There are eight players who are on Minnesota’s roster who weren’t when the team played last on Wednesday against the Hawks.
Most notably for the Timberwolves, they now have All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell on the roster – who instantly becomes the best point guard the team has had on its roster since Sam Cassell in 2003-04.
There’s also Malik Beasley, who will get more of an opportunity to showcase his skillset than he did on a deep Denver team.
The team held practice on Friday after an introductory press conference, but we don’t have a great grasp on who will play and who won’t yet or what the rotations will be like.
The current roster fits what Ryan Saunders wants to do as a coach more than the one we saw last week, but there will still need to be some chemistry that needs to be built with a new unit five months into the season.
The Clippers were also active at the trade deadline, acquiring Marcus Morris for Mo Harkless and Jerome Robinson.
This is the third of four matchups between the two teams this season. The Clippers won the first two games.
What: Wolves vs. Clippers
When: 7 p.m. CT, Saturday, Feb. 8
Where: Target Center
Watch: Fox Sports North
Listen: 830 WCCO
All eyes will be on Russell as he makes his Timberwolves debut. In his fifth season, Russell is averaging a career-high 23.6 points per game to go with 6.2 assists. He’s also shooting a career-high 37.4 percent from deep on 9.7 attempts per game. That’s convenient because the Timberwolves really like to shoot threes!
Russell will also be paired with his friend, who just so happens to be one of the best young players in the league, Karl-Anthony Towns.
This is a win for both players, both personally and professionally. Russell is the best point guard Towns has played with in his career, while Towns is the best big man Russell has played with.
It will be fun to see how these two play together.
How Will Morris Fit In LA?
The Clippers strengthened their championship hopes in adding Morris to the roster via the New York Knicks.
In his ninth seasons in the league, Morris is averaging a career-high 19.6 points to go with 5.4 rebounds per game. He’s also shooting a career-best 43.9 percent from the 3-point line.
Morris’ usage will go down in LA and he’ll come off the bench with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the starting lineup, but Morris will strengthen a second unit that needed strengthening.
It helps LA, too, that the only other big contender to make a move in the West was the Rockets adding Robert Covington in a four-team trade with the Timberwolves.
Wolves: Jake Layman (toe) is out and D'Angelo Russell (quad) are out.
Clippers: Patrick Beverley (groin) is questionable.
Wolves: PG – Russell, SG – Beasley, SF – Okogie, PF – Hernangomez, C – Towns
Clippers: PG – Beverley, SG – Shamet, SF – Leonard, PF – George, C – Zubac