Karl-Anthony Towns has faced his share of foul trouble and double teams early in the Timberwolves season. Towns likes to battle for position and has found himself on the wrong side of the whistle too often for his liking, especially in the Wolves' first few games.
Wednesday night's win over Sacramento may have shown how the Wolves might be able to combat some of those issues going forward by having Towns operate more from the mid-range and high-post areas. That's because it can be harder for teams to double a player in the middle of the floor given the passing lanes he can have.
This may not be Towns' primary area of operation going forward, but he had some moments where it was effective. Towns said he made some changes in part because of how the game is changing for big men.
"The NBA is a little different right now. The game has changed a little bit for us,' Towns said. "I don't think the physicality will be allowed as much, so I have to adjust."
To do that, Towns said he has been watching some film of Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Garnett and how they operated in the same area of the floor, and how they tried to tangle for position without fouling as much.
"It's really dangerous and [Wednesday] you saw a little bit of that where I was able to really attack and also no double team was able to come," Towns said. "[When] you're in the middle of the floor, it's going to be very difficult to have that happen."
"Just trying to find different ways to play the game because the game has changed again on us," Towns said. "We're gonna have to change with it or eat some hard times."
Towns operating out of the mid-range can also have some benefits for the rest of the offense, Anthony Edwards said.
"It helps him operate in tight spaces because if he catch it on the three-(point line), they can just load up. It helps us cut better because we can get out of his way and let him go to work," Edwards said.
Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the Wolves picking Anthony Edwards in a pandemic-delayed draft. Coach Chris Finch wasn't with the team back then but said in the time he has been here he has seen Edwards' confidence grow — not that it was lacking much for the self-assured Edwards anyway. Finch said Edwards' challenge now is to go from playing well one out of every three nights to two and then to three.
"That's what I've learned from being alongside of some of these great players like James Harden, [Nikola] Jokic," Finch said. "These guys, they have maybe six, eight, 10 bad nights a year where they're not contributing at a high level and driving winning. Obviously, we don't expect that from him, but that's like his next steps, if you will."
- Finch said Naz Reid didn't look "great" healthwise on Wednesday in his return from right foot soreness and was scratched Thursday. Josh Okogie missed his second straight game because of back spasms.
- Finch was up early on Thursday as he volunteered at Second Harvest's "Pack to the Max" day. The food bank has been helping distribute goods in advance of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Finch serves on its board.
"It's not just about writing a check," Finch said. "We're fortunate enough to be able to help financially to a lot of different things, but it's about putting your time in. When you put the time in you're emotionally invested in everything. It's an incredible effort they have out there.
- Thursday was Native American Heritage Night to bring awareness to the heritage and traditions of the Prairie Island Indian Community and Bdewakantunwan Dakota Tribal Nation. The team, in conjunction with the Prairie Island Indian Community and Treasure Island, handed out a number of black T-shirts with the logos of each that say, "Stronger together."