Shootaround Report | Wolves vs. Blazers
The question going into Monday’s Timberwolves shootaround before they take on the Portland Trail Blazers was the status of Minnesota’s All-Star wing Jimmy Butler.
Butler injured his back in Saturday’s game against the Suns, and was officially listed as questionable for Monday night’s game, although he was a full participant in the team’s shootaround.
“He went through shootaround,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “ . . . (His back) basically locked up, it wasn’t spasms . . . We went through shootaround and he’s feeling a lot better.”
The Wolves could certainly use Butler as they go up against a Blazers team that sits just a half game back from the Wolves for the No. 4 seed in the West led by Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
“They have a very good backcourt,” Wolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns said. “A good front court as well. They’re a great team. No matter what it is, it’s a huge game for us.”
One thing Minnesota is hoping to improve on is not fouling opposing 3-point shooters. It was an issue on the final play against the Suns on Saturday and ultimately cost the Wolves the game. With Lillard and McCollum, the Wolves are making sure to put extra focus on that.
“it’s just discipline really,” Wolves point guard Tyus Jones said. “Just focusing on it. Some guys in the league have tendencies to use pump fakes more than others, so knowing our opponents. It’s just about discipline. We’ve got to avoid that.”
The Wolves and Blazers tipoff tonight at 7 p.m. The game will air on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO.