For the 2nd year in a row, the Minnesota Timberwolves will have to try to punch their ticket to the postseason via the play-in tournament. 3rd year guard Anthony Edwards once again had a very good year, but the franchise was without big man Karl Anthony Towns for a majority of the year, limited to just 27 games this season dealing with a grade 3 calf strain and a rehab setback. That means that the tandem of Towns and Rudy Gobert, which was maligned last offseason and looked a bit rickity from the jump, haven’t had a ton of reps with one another. Minnesota is 4-3 since his return, and while no one is expecting the Timberwolves to make much noise if they do ultimately clinch one of the final 2 playoff spots, the franchise may still take solace in the fact that they were able to still win nearly 45 games without arguably their best player.
Meanwhile, the season is winding down for the San Antonio Spurs. Tonight’s match-up, their 2nd straight from Austin, Texas represents the final, “home,” game of the season for the Silver and Black and luckily for them, they’re all finished traveling out of of state for work this season. The win over the Trail Blazers in the first night at Austin was an exciting back and forth that guaranteed at least one Spurs victory during this Austin stand. A win tonight in front of the home crowd would be the cherry on top for San Antonio’s 50th season.
San Antonio Spurs (21-59) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (40-40)
April 8, 2023 | 3:00 PM CT
Watch: CW35 | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)
Spurs Injuries: Keldon Johnson (day to day), Jeremy Sochan (OUT), Devin Vassell (OUT), Charles Bassey (OUT), Khem Birch (knee - OUT), Devontae Graham (day to day), Doug McDermott (day to day)
Timberwolves Injuries: Austin Rivers (day to day), Jaylen Nowell (day to day), Naz Reid (OUT)
What to watch for
- Julian Champagnie has scored at least 20 points in 2 of this last 3 games. He should get plenty of burn once again tonight and could add another game to that growing list. Could more performances like this help Champagnie to finds his way back with the main roster next season?
- Anthony Edwards has grown his game each of his 3 seasons in the league. All of his numbers are up across the board this year, as he’s averaging 24.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game on the some of the best shootinf percentages of his career. His FT% is a little off, but he’s taking more a game this year than he did in his first 2 seasons. Edwards, who recently suffered an ankle sprain, has done all of this while suiting up for 77 games, a rarity in todays NBA.
- Malaki Branham was the only starter not to score in double-digits last game, going just 1 for 12. That broke a streak of 6 straight games of at least 15 points. Hopefully he can treat the home crowd to one last bright performance in what has been a very solid season for the rookie guard.
- Zach Collins has had his best season as a pro this year. He played in his most games this season (63) since he played 77 games his 2nd year all the way back in 2018 and posted career highs in basically every major counting stat. The Spurs will have to decide whether to fully guarantee Collin’s contract for next season by the day after the draft, but for now it’s just great to see him playing. Hopefully the crowd gives him a big round of applause tonight.
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