The Minnesota Timberwolves will resume a newly sparked rivalry when they host the Memphis Grizzlies at the Target Center on Wednesday, November 30.
This beef began in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
After battling their way through the newly implemented Play-In Tournament, the Wolves had earned themselves the seventh seed and a clash against the young Grizzlies who had shocked fans, analysts, and their opponents all throughout the 2021-2022 season en route to a second-seed finish.
The series lasted six games and provided plenty of remarkable moments that will live with infamy on social media, even if the actual basketball product was mostly sloppy and showed both teams’ inexperience.
Memphis will be returning mostly the same group for their first clash against the Wolves since ousting from last year’s playoffs, but Minnesota will look significantly different.
Gone are Patrick Beverly and Jarred Vanderbilt, and the Grizz will have to game-plan around the Wolves’ new anchor and lob threat in Rudy Gobert.
While they haven’t been the regular season powerhouse that many thought they would be after acquiring the former DPOY, Minnesota has started to turn things around after a slow start to open the year.
They currently sit winners of six in their last 10 games, and four of their last six.
More importantly, the chemistry has started to build in the Twin City, after they had to endure some growing pains with integrating a dominant but limited player on both ends of the court in Gobert.
While their glacial start is holding down their numbers, they currently sit middle of the road in both offensive and defensive rating but have been playing starkly better as of late.
On offense, they recently dropped 129 and 126 points in back-to-back games against some normally staunch defenses in the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic.
The Grizzlies have been struggling with injury in the early season but have still fielded a capable offense that’s currently in the top-10 in efficiency. They have an extremely versatile roster that could test Minnesota’s limits and potentially play Gobert off of the floor with a small-ball lineup.
As this is a birthing rivalry, expect emotions to be running high and some sloppy play in between whistles.
This matchup should be a good litmus test for the Wolves to see if they can figure out a way to keep Gobert available in a playoff setting. His interior defense would be a necessary asset against a dominant force at the rim like Ja Morant.
— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) November 30, 2022
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| Title: Memphis Grizzlies vs Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
| Author: Andy Quach
| Date: Nov 30, 2022