Lakers are back home to take on Minnesota Timberwolves

The Lakers were defeated by the Wolves last October 28th.

The Lakers are back at it and playing their third game in four nights. Once again, they’re going to have to do it without LeBron James, who (according to the Lakers) will be reevaluated in about three weeks. 10 games will be played in those three weeks and that’s more than half the remaining games of the season.

The first of 10 games will be at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Yes, they have played against each other before but it feels like forever ago. On October 28th, Rudy Gobert had a 20-20 and was a monster at the end of that contest. That loss put the Lakers on an 0-5 slate. And like I said after their win against Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, their slow start (0-5 and then 2-10 later) is looming larger and larger.

The Wolves won’t have Karl-Anthony Towns, though. He’s still out from his calf injury he suffered last November. While they won’t have Towns, they still have Anthony Edwards, who has a rare perfect attendance in the league (he’s played all 64 games this season). Edwards made the all-star team for the first time and is averaging 24.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per. He’s really become their go-to guy, especially with KAT out.

We all know Minnesota traded D’Angelo Russell to Los Angeles as part of that three-way deal before the trading deadline. The Wolves got Mike Conley in that deal. He’s very familiar with Gobert going back to Utah. They immediately have better perimeter defense with Conley replacing Russell.

The Wolves have disappointed in terms of expectations. They are still part of that quagmire of teams in the West, though. They’re currently sitting in 8th place and a winning streak could easily put them in the 4th spot in a week or two. They seem to be playing much better defense as of late, too, as they have broken into the Top 10 in defensive rating. That’s what they acquired Gobert for.

Both teams are obviously different now than when they played in October. But the theme still remains the same. We were just talking about turnovers after that Memphis game. Well, they were pretty bad against the Wolves last October, too. It wasn’t Memphis bad but still pretty bad, nonetheless. The Lakers had 22 turnovers against Minnesota.

The Lakers are going to play Friday night without said former Minnesota point guard D’Angelo Russell. Anthony Davis and Dennis Schröder are probable. But L.A. did have a nice flow against OKC last Wednesday night. We had aggressive drivers in Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves and some sniping from Malik Beasley, Schröder, Troy Brown Jr., and Mo Bamba. It’ll be tougher to go into the paint as the Wolves have that interior defender in Gobert. Schröder is shifty enough to do some drive and kicks but they’ll need more to get Gobert overworked like he did whenever Utah would get beat in the postseason.

The Lakers have a real chance to get into the Top 10 in the West after Friday night. But again, they should take care of themselves and the rest will hopefully fall into place. I’ve been saying this for weeks now but every game is huge for the Lakers the rest of the 2022-23 season.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x