Eric Gordon expects Karl-Anthony Towns to be featured more in Game 2
The Minnesota Timberwolves fought hard to obtain a position in the playoffs and finished the season in the eighth spot.
It was a success, but it came with playing the No.1 seed in the first round of the playoffs which happens to be the red-hot Houston Rockets who took the season by storm led by Chris Paul and James Harden.
Game 1 on Sunday night proved to be a not-so-typical matchup between polar opposites, seedings wise, due to the spread of talent between the two teams. After a back-and-forth matchup, the Rockets emerged victorious but the win wasn’t as simple as being the superior team all night.
During the TNT halftime and post-game analysis, Inside the NBA studio analysts criticized the Timberwolves for the way they lost the game, not for losing the game itself.
There were several moments during the night where center Karl Anthony Towns, who played 40 minutes but had a sub-par game scoring 15 points on 3-of-9 shooting while adding 12 rebounds, was underutilized.
Matchups are very important during the playoffs and the Timberwolves didn’t make the most of any of their own advantages. Towns had been guarded by Paul, and other smaller players several times due to the Rockets’ constant switching on defense, but never once got the ball to exploit his size advantage. It also spurred Charles Barkley to call the Timberwolves a ‘dumb‘ team.
Switching can be a dangerous tool or a bad idea depending on how the defense executes, but in this case, the Rockets made the right call because their opponent decided not to look for holes in the defense.
Game 2 begins Tuesday night, and Rockets guard Eric Gordon doesn’t see the exact same success as Sunday given the time teams have between games to make adjustments.
Eric Gordon on Karl-Anthony Towns: "I think they're going to really feature him this game." There were several times in Game 1 when Gordon or another Rockets guard got switched onto Towns but the Timberwolves big man didn't get the ball.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 17, 2018
While the Rockets still only won the game by a mere three points, expect a different kind of matchup in Game 2 if they decide to continue switching on defense, and the score could yield different results in the end.
That’s why they play.