Toronto Raptors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Jan 20, 2018
Sunday, January 21, 2018
I wish Minnesota had issued a PSA warning us about these fluorescent jerseys tonight. I feel like I just opened my eyes during the 2017 total solar eclipse despite Health Canada telling me not to.
Tonight is the second night of a back-to-back for the Raptors who made their way down to the state of Minnesota to face the Timberwolves at the Target Center. Given all of the Raptors fans though - you’d think the game were in Canada. This is the Wolves’ first game at home since Nemanja Bjelica - the Serbian basketball player - missed what could have been a very serious injury. If Aaron Afflalo of the Magic had connected during that physical altercation in Orlando earlier this week, things could’ve been very different at tonight’s game.
Tonight’s starting five for the Wolfpack included Teague, Wiggins, Bjelica, Gibson & Towns. Jimmy Butler sat this one out with a sore right knee - leaving the Timberwolves without their leading scorer against one of the Eastern Conference's top teams.
Matching up was Lowry, Derozan, Anunoby, Ibaka & Valanciunas. OG has been struggling, but I have faith in the rookie and think he will find his groove soon, while hopefully staying in Toronto.
The first quarter was looking a little messy with three turnovers off the jump for the Raptors. Jonas headed to the bench early having two personal fouls just two and a half minutes into the game. The Raptors ended the quarter with 7 turnovers - Raptors up by two, 28-26. Poeltl checks into the game hoping to give the Raptors a little more consistency finishing the half with 6pts, 3 rebounds extending the lead to eight points giving the North the biggest lead of the half. 62-54.
Fouls! Fouls! Fouls, Fouls everywhere. The big fella JV picked up his fourth foul at the start of the 3rd quarter - forcing Coach Casey to ask him to take a seat. The Raps committed 6 fouls in the 3rd while the Wolves committed 0.
The Raps sunk 12 three’s in the 4th alone and went for a little run - an 11-0 run to be exact - leading by one with 3:54 left to play. It looked like the Raptors were on a roll and they were going to take the W. When Towns & Wiggins drained the back-to-back three’s though, there was nothing we could do but hope one of the vets would show their confidence and step up..
Unfortunately, they didn’t get the win tonight - trailing by 6pts in the end, it seems The Raps are going to have to accept this as a hard loss vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves. On the bright side - Lowry had a season high game with 40pts, 5reb and 5 ast.
There needs to be a plan set in place to get the Raptors to close a game or else it could mean trouble come playoffs. The boys have three days to rest and regroup as they head to ATL to take on the Hawks at the Phillips Arena on Wednesday @ 7:30pm.
Timberwolves 115 - Raptors 109