Phoenix is missing a few players that would put out their strongest lineup, but they've still performed quite well. Minnesota's twin big-man concept has some legs, but their lack of shooting has been their downfall more than once.
Phoenix Suns def. Minnesota Timberwolves
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|Minnesota Timberwolves||Head-to-Head||Phoenix Suns|
|Chris Finch||Head Coach||Monty Williams|
|4-3 (7th in West)||Standing||5-1 (1st in West)|
|110.6 (23rd of 30)||Off Rtg||120.4 (1st of 30)|
|108.7 (6th of 30)||Def Rtg||107.9 (4th of 30)|
|102.5 (4th of 30)||Pace||96.9 (26th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|A. Edwards (23.0)||PPG||D. Booker (29.3)|
|R. Gobert (14.7)||RPG||D. Ayton (8.2)|
|D. Russell (6.0)||APG||C. Paul (10.8)|
|D. Russell, J. McDaniels (1.7)||SPG||C. Paul (1.7)|
|J. McDaniels, R. Gobert (1.7)||BPG||B. Biyombo (1.8)|
|T. Prince (.629)/A. Edwards (8.9)||FG%/FGM||B. Biyombo (.667)/D. Booker (10.7)|
|T. Prince (.571)/A. Edwards (2.7)||3P%/3PM||M. Bridges (.462)/C. Johnson (2.5)|
|Jordan McLaughlin||Minnesota Timberwolves||28 Oct 2022||Day to Day (Heel)||McLaughlin was OUT for Minnesota's Friday (Oct 28) game.|
|DeAndre Ayton||Phoenix Suns||29 Oct 2022||Out (Ankle)||Ayton will miss at least one week with a left ankle sprain.|
|Ish Wainwright||Phoenix Suns||29 Oct 2022||Day to Day (Back)||Wainwright was OUT for Phoenix's Friday (Oct 28) game.|
The Minnesota Timberwolves knew that they were sacrificing some range in their offense when they acquired Rudy Gobert. However they've been well off the mark through this early phase of the NBA season, something they need to remedy to beat the Suns.
The Timberwolves are currently ranked 26th overall in three-point field goal efficiency, converting on just 31.8% of their makes. In comparison, they were first in three-pointers made and attempted per game last season, on 35.8% shooting.
Through seven games the Timberwolves have made more than 10 three-point field goals just three times, once being an outlying 20 of 34 night against the Spurs. The Suns are a disciplined defensive team who will collapse on rolling big men, Minnesota need to be clinical from three to win.
The Minnesota Timberwolves still aren't performing to their potential, but the promise is there. While all eyes have been on Gobert, it's Karl-Anthony Towns who needs to improve on his efficiency to help Minnesota win the day.
In his last game, a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Towns' struggle to shoot the ball hurt the Timberwolves. He posted a solid line of 26 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks. However, he was just 1 of 7 from three-point range and a team-low minus-22 on the night.
Towns needs to be locked in against the Suns, who are missing key big man DeAndre Ayton for this matchup. Given his ability to score in the paint, expect him to attack the rim early to open up his shooting.
The Phoenix Suns are a proven regular-season team. While the post-season may be a different story, what's important going into this game is that the Suns are succeeding to due the depth of their roster.
In their last game, a win over the lowly Houston Rockets, the Phoenix Suns had seven different players score in double-digits. Of those players, three of those scorers came off the bench and were led by Australian big man Jock Landale.
One of the league's best passing teams, second overall with 29.7 assists per game, the Suns thrive when the ball is moving. So long as their role players are converting on their opportunities, the Timberwolves don't have the depth to compete with Phoenix.
The Phoenix Suns continue to perform well and it's all behind the stellar guard play of Chris Paul. While he may not be an incredible scoring force, he showed in his last game that his playmaking can be a game-changer.
In Phoenix's 124-109 win over the Houston Rockets, Paul posted 10 points and 15 assists in 31 minutes of play. He wasn't great shooting the ball, just 3 of 17, but his ability to create for others was a difference-maker.
Against the Timberwolves' big men, Paul's ability to operate the pick-and-roll will be crucial to their success. Getting Minnesota's shot-blockers out of the paint will be key, but he'll still need to show he's a threat to score in screening movements.
|Who||Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns|
|Where||Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ|
|When||10:00 PM EST, Tuesday, November 1st, 2022|
|How to Watch||TNT, NBA League Pass (Stream)|
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
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