Final Score: Raptors: 112, Timberwolves: 105
Confusing game all-around for Minnesota. In some ways, the Wolves stood in with Toronto on their own court, but in this league, it’s not about hanging with teams. It was a game of runs, and in the end, the Timberwolves didn’t have a big enough fourth quarter run in them.
The Timberwolves shot very well from deep. Minnesota was 15-30 from three. The entire team was hot from downtown. Butler led the way by going 4-7 from three, and Tolliver connected on 3-5 triples from deep. In the end, the three-point barrage wasn’t enough to get Minnesota the win, but it’s something to build on.
Jimmy Butler was brutal from the free-throw line. What happens in this game if Butler knocks down his foul shots? Butler was 5-10 from the line, where he is a career 83.4% shooter. Butler has recorded 20 points in each game he’s played in this season, but he could’ve done a lot more damage tonight.
Karl-Anthony Towns looked like he didn’t want to be on the court tonight. Towns has been very active so far this season, but tonight was a different story. KAT was a no-show on offense and wasn’t in the flow of the game. Towns’ offensive start to the season has to be a major concern going forward.
Josh Okogie had an interesting game. There is no doubting Okogie’s ability on the defensive end of the court. He is already an elite player on that end of the court. It’s the offensive end where Okogie is a huge question mark. Okogie started the game by shooting 0-9 from the field, forcing too many shots up. Then, Okogie caught fire, by hitting two straight threes and throwing down a massive putback. Okogie finished 4-14 from the field. If Okogie can learn when to shoot the ball and when to give it up, it will make him much more valuable to Minnesota.
This Toronto team is legit. I know, it’s been said before, but this year is truly different. With Kawhi Leonard in, and LeBron and out of the East, the Raptors have as good of a shot at going to the NBA Finals as any Eastern Conference team.
Kawhi Leonard is back. After missing almost a full year of basketball, Leonard looks like he hasn’t missed a step. Leonard recorded 35 points on 15-23 shooting from the field tonight, ridiculous efficiency. If Leonard continues to perform at this high of a level, he will definitely be in the MVP conversation at the end of the season.
Jonas Valanciunas provided a huge punch off the bench. Valanciunas recorded 16 points and 9 rebounds off the bench to lead Toronto’s bench scoring. Playing in just 20 minutes, 5 of the 9 rebounds Valanciunas grabbed were offensive rebounds.
The Raptors are the Spurs of the East. Their ball movement is unmatched. Almost everyone on their team is willing to make the extra pass. This team-centered basketball can take them very far, just ask San Antonio.