Wolves Are Plenty Ready To Get Karl-Anthony Towns Back

The Timberwolves are getting their best player back for Wednesday’s game against the Grizzlies.

Karl-Anthony Towns served his two-game suspension after last Wednesday’s incident with Joel Embiid. The Wolves went 1-1 in Towns’ absence, which is something they’ll take. 

It was only two games, but Towns actually seemed to take a lot out of being out of the lineup during that time, including putting together a whole bunch of notes from the team’s win over the Wizards and sent them over to coach Ryan Saunders. 

“I had a lot more free time,” Towns said with a laugh. “I was just doing my part, like I said. You’ve got to be able to lead, especially during this time was to try to give as much information of things I saw on tape and whatever the case may be to help us win.”

I'm not sure how many superstars are putting together hand-written game notes together from a hotel room. 

It’s obvious that you’d rather have your best player than not, but there are some things to take away from Towns’ absence. We got to see more of Noah Vonleh and Jordan Bell, both who looked capable and showed signs of why the Wolves signed them in the first place. We also saw Gorgui Dieng step up with an 18-point, nine-rebound performance against the Wizards last Friday.

But now we’ll likely see the Timberwolves go back to the rotation they had previously. There won’t be too much of an adjustment made getting Towns back up to speed.

“There’s been ongoing conversations,” Saunders said. “He’s been really engaged for these games. . . He was good. We’re glad he’s playing, though. We’ll have conversations, obviously, about integrating and not doing too much necessarily, but it's nothing I’m concerned about.” 

The Wolves are 4-2 on the season, and 3-1 with Towns in the lineup.

After six games, the Wolves are playing better than most people thought they would. They are tied for fourth in the West. If the Wolves can keep this up, and make a postseason push, a huge part of that will be because of Towns. Towns is averaging 27.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.8 blocks per game – all numbers that actually seem sustainable for a player who should be considered as a darkhorse MVP candidate if the Wolves do make the playoffs.

Now, Towns will look to continue his strong start to the season on Wednesday night against the Grizzlies. 

Injury Update 

Timberwolves backup point guard Shabazz Napier suffered a hamstring injury on Monday night against the Bucks. 

It sounds like the team is awaiting official word on his injury, but Saunders said that he should be considered questionable moving forward.

Napier has been a pleasant surprise for the Wolves, averaging 7.8 points and a career-high 4.5 assists in 22.2 minutes per game. If Napier misses time, we’ll likely see Jarrett Culver play more at point guard.  

Bell suffered a shoulder injury on Monday night as well.

We’ll get more of an update on his status on Wednesday. 

“It’s a little sore. Just going to take it day by day. See how it is tomorrow. See if I can go," Bell said.

Tipoff on Wednesday is set for 7 p.m. CT from Memphis. The game will air on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO.