Washington Wizards 2019-2020 Season Preview: the Minnesota Timberwolves

Washington Wizards (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Can the Washington Wizards pull off an upset win over the Towns-less Timberwolves?

Washington Wizards record against Minnesota last season: 1-1

Minnesota lost: Luol Deng, Anthony Tolliver, Tyus Jones, Derrick Rose, and Dario Saric

Minnesota added: Noah Vonleh, Jordan Bell, Shabazz Napier, Treveon Graham, Jarrett Culver, Jake Layman, Jaylen Nowell, and Naz Reid

The Minnesota Timberwolves are already looking like a Western Conference playoff team, behind a strong start to the year for big man Karl-Anthony Towns. Will the Washington Wizards be able to slow down their race to the playoffs?

In just four games, Towns is looking like the best big man in the league. He’s averaging 27.3 points and 11.5 rebounds on (small sample size) 53-percent shooting from deep! If Andrew Wiggins can figure his way into being a solid rotation piece, the Timberwolves can make the playoffs.

But the Washington Wizards, with expectations as low as ever, will be looking to delay Minnesota’s (and any other team for the record) postseason aims.

And with Towns unavailable due to his WWE-style altercation with Joel Embiid, their chances are looking good for these two team’s first matchup of the year. The big man averaged 34 points, 12.5 rebounds, and a block per game in contests versus the Wizards last season.

Wizards to Watch

Neither game between Washington and Minnesota were dull last season, as Bradley Beal was also showing out in those matchups. The All-Star guard averaged 29 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game in that series! But with Towns out, he’s primed for an even larger performance.

And speaking of Wizards’ primed for a big night, Thomas Bryant is going to eat in Towns’ absence.

Over the first four games of the season, he’s averaging 14.5 points and 10.3 rebounds. With Gorgui Dieng the Timberwolves only options at backup center, Bryant is bound for at least a double-double performance Saturday night.

Elsewhere, keep an eye on second-year wing Troy Brown, who just made his season debut on Wednesday in the 159-158 loss to the Houston Rockets. If he can build off of his 14-point debut, he’s primed for a larger role in the Wizards’ rotation.

Game Predictions

November 2nd, 2019: Wizards welcome the KAT-less Timberwolves

This one is a no-brainer prediction. With Towns out of the picture, and Wiggins left to man the ship, Washington should get a much-needed home victory.

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November 15th, 2019: Washington travels to Minnesota

In just two short weeks, these teams will wrap up their season-long series. With Towns back in stride, the Timberwolves will capitalize on a Wizards team playing their second game on the road.