Good afternoon, folks. Karl-Anthony Towns has missed 12 games in a row for Minnesota. Let’s talk NBA.
What is wrong with KAT?
The franchise centerpiece for the Minnesota Timberwolves hasn’t played since the middle of December despite being listed as “day-to-day” ever since a sprained knee put him on the sideline. Karl-Anthony Towns was listed as questionable leading up to Thursday night’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers and his head coach said they would evaluate him during pregame warmups. KAT sat out his 12 straight game instead.
But there shouldn’t be much to worry about. The franchise is doing its due-diligence in terms of making sure their star player is fully healthy. Towns hadn’t missed more than five games coming into the 2019-20 season (and two of those were due to a nasty car crash), so it makes sense that they would keep him on the bench until he’s 100 percent. Especially considering the Wolves were in the middle of an 11-game losing streak when Towns did go down. There is no reason to rush back an unprepared player for a season that might already be lost. But the weird thing is Minny hasn’t even played all that bad without the All-Star.
Minnesota has actually posted the league’s best defense since Towns went out. They’re 5-7 since he went out and just 1.5 games behind the Spurs for the 8th seed out West. The Wolves will likely be active on the trade market as we inch closer to the February deadline. They aren’t done by any means and will have a real shot to stay in playoff contention once Towns does come back. No one seems to know where and when that will be, though.
SGA guides OKC to impressive win over Houston
Russell Westbrook made his hyped return to Oklahoma City following the trade that sent him to the Houston Rockets this past offseason. But the tribute he received from the Thunder organization and its fans would be his only victory of the evening.
The Thunder trounced Houston, 113-92, as they held James Harden to just 17 points – his lowest total of the season – on 5-17 shooting. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the BBNBA with 20 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists on an 8-15 clip from the field. Hamidou Diallo added five points and five rebounds for OKC while Nerlens Noel was sidelined for the third straight game due to a sprained ankle.
- Enes Kanter posted eight points, 11 rebounds, and two assists for the Boston Celtics, who fell to the Philadelphia 76ers 109-89.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers earned a morale-boosting win against the Detroit Pistons in overtime, 115-112. Brandon Knight appeared in 24 minutes for the Cavs, registering five points, two rebounds, and three assists.
- There were only four games on Thursday. Slow night.
Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||113-92 W vs. HOU||20||8-15 (1-3)||3||3||1||0||0||+28||30|
|Enes Kanter (BOS)||98-109 L @ PHI||8||4-7 (0-0)||11||2||0||0||1||+11||17|
|Brandon Knight (CLE)||115-112 (OT) W @ DET||5||2-7 (1-4)||2||3||0||0||0||+6||24|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||113-92 W vs. HOU||5||2-7 (0-1)||5||0||0||0||1||-2||23|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||113-92 W vs. HOU||DNP-Ankle||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||102-116 L @ MIN||DNP-Knee||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||116-102 W vs. POR||DNP-Knee||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:00: Hawks @ Wizards (Wall-out)
7:15 (ESPN): Pelicans (Miller-out) @ Knicks (Knox, Randle)
7:30: Heat (Adebayo, Herro) @ Nets
8:00: Pacers @ Bulls
8:00: Spurs (Johnson, Lyles) @ Grizzlies
9:00: Magic @ Suns (Booker)
9:00: Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk, Washington) @ Jazz
9:45 (ESPN): Lakers (Davis-questionable, Rondo) @ Mavericks
10:00: Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Kings (Fox, Gabriel)
10:30: Warriors (Cauley-Stein) @ Clippers (Patterson)