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Shootaround Report | Wolves vs. 76ers
The Wolves host the 76ers in a late matchup tonight at the Target Center. Tipoff was moved back to 8:30 p.m. due to the game being flexed to ESPN.
The matchup everyone will be watching (hopefully) is between Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid.
Towns leads the NBA in double-doubles this season and has since he entered the league two-plus years ago.
Embiid is averaging 23.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, but is questionable for tonight’s game with back tightness.
“He looked okay,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said after Tuesday’s shootaround. “He had a good day yesterday. We hope to see him play tonight, obviously.”
In two matchups against the Wolves last season, Embiid averaged 17.5 points and nine rebounds. In those same two games, Towns averaged 24 points and 13 rebounds.
“It’s always fun when you get to play the best of the best, but you also get to play good friends of yours,” Towns said. “ . . . Obviously, it’s going to be serious, but trash talk never hurt nobody.”
Some reporters at shootaround compared the two teams, given the youth and veteran balance. The 76ers have guys like Embiid, Ben Simmons and J.J. Redick, while the Wolves have Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler.
“Every team’s different and they have a really good blend,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “They added, I thought, the right veterans . . . They’ve done a lot of winning throughout their careers.”
Butler said while on paper, the teams might seem similar. But “on paper” doesn’t really mean whole lot. It’s all about results.
“It’s all about how you do your job,” Butler said. “ . . . For both of these teams tonight, we’ve gotta play hard and see who comes out on top.”
McConnell Is Available
76ers point guard T.J. McConnell is available with a sprained AC joint, but he’s going to test it out again before the game.
“It’s painful and it might just be because it’s stiff,” McConnell said. “I’m going to try to warmup tonight and see how it feels.”
The game will air on Fox Sports North, ESPN and 830 WCCO.