The Knicks (4-5) are looking to get back on track as they travel to the Target Center to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves (5-5) tonight at 9:15p.m. New York is coming off a difficult loss at the hands of Boston at MSG. They have lost four of their last five games coming into this one, so a response is needed.
Minnesota has lost three of their last four games as both have struggled against other playoff contending teams of late in the early parts of the season.
On the injury front, the Knicks are still without Quentin Grimes, who is day-to-day with a foot injury. Mitchell Robinson is out with a knee injury that will be reevaluated late this week. The Timberwolves will be without star center Rudy Gobert who is in health and safety protocols.
Scouting the T-Wolves
Both teams will be playing their third game in four days and be a bit thin on the front lines considering Robinson and Gobert are both out for the Knicks and Wolves respectively. We know the Knicks will likely turn again to Isaiah Hartenstein, who played well as a starter against Boston last time out. What will the Timberwolves do without Gobert, who leads the NBA in rebounds per game?
It’s an easier answer than you think as Karl-Anthony Towns will slide into the five spot, a role he is very familiar with, to pick up the slack. He had 25 points, nine rebounds and six assists in a win over Houston last time out and will be a handful for the Knicks, as he is for many teams around the league. KAT is averaging 22.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game so far this season and is still the star on this Minnesota squad.
However, it is the former University of Georgia star and 2020 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards who is the team’s leading scorer at 22.8 points per game and is continuing to rise towards stardom in the NBA. In a league where guards and wings tend to shine more often than not, Edwards is growing into one of the best already at just 21 years of age. The Knicks defensive effort on the perimeter will have to be much better than it was against Boston if they are going to slow him down.
Jaylen Nowell and Jaden McDaniels also average in double figures for the T-Wolves as well and both contribute big minutes to a team that one of the deeper teams in the Western Conference. Nine players for the Timberwolves average 15 minutes per game or more and 11 average 10 minutes per game or more. The Timberwolves are the fifth-best rebounding team in the league as well and it’s a collective effort. With Robinson out, the Knicks will need to fight for everything on the glass.
The Knicks and Timberwolves met twice last season and both games went down to the wire with the road teams winning each time. New York won by eight in December 2021 and Minnesota by two at MSG in January of 2022. Robinson was actually the Knicks leading scorer in that December win so we will see if the Knicks feel his absence in this contest.
This one is very tricky. The Knicks have been struggling of late on the whole, but did respond with a big win against the Sixers on the road prior to the defeat against Boston. Even in defeat, the Knicks showed some good signs against a very strong Celtics team that is looking to defend their conference crown.
I think the Knicks will find a way on the road again and get back to .500 with a win over Minnesota. Tip off for the game is tonight at 9:15p.m. at the Target Center. Keep it here for all of the coverage during and after the game. Talk to you then!