As the Minnesota Timberwolves headed to Target Center expected to take a 2-1 series lead over the second seed Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota relinquished two separate 20+ point leads in the same game. Karl Anthony-Towns is receiving all the brute scrutiny from the fans and media because of his inability to produce in two successive games as the franchise cornerstone of the Timberwolves.
Towns was seen committing bone-headed fouls that caused him to sit on the bench for majority of Game 3. Without Towns, Anthony Edwards and D'Angelo Russell were nowhere to be seen as well on both ends of the court. This loss could have some percolating long term issues on the franchise, but that could also easily be mitigated if they manage to crawl their way back into this series. That could be the case for a massive Game 4 victory, and these are a few predictions for that contest.
Timberwolves-Grizzlies Game 4 Predictions
Minnesota splashes home 15+ threes
Returning back to the formula of their terrific Game 1 win, Minnesota must dominate the long range bombs against the Grizzlies team that relies more on points in the paint and transition buckets. The Timberwolves were +27 from three-point distance in Game 1, so for them to stand a legitimate chance in Game 4, they must mount a huge advantage from this department.
Malik Beasley is the ultimate heater who could tally zero points or record 25 points on any given night. He must lead the second unit of outscoring the bench of Memphis, while Russell and Edwards must convert more than four shots from rainbow country to force the Grizzlies to adjust and chase the shooters all the way from three-point line.
Towns continues to struggle; Vanderbilt, McDaniels will step up
With coach Taylor Jenkins deciding to start Kyle Anderson in Game 3, the Grizzlies have utilized a small-ball lineup that has limited the impact of Towns offensively. Moreover, it has forced him to get rattled and commit unnecessary fouls that was a major reason for the huge Memphis comeback in the second half. That does not look like it would change in Game 4, thus Jarred Vanderbilt or Jaden McDaniels must elevate their production in this vital game.
The contributions of Vanderbilt and McDaniels is focused on the scoring department, but it must be their ability to be versatile and athletic defenders who must contain the likes of Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr. Additionally, the rebounding and hustle of Vanderbilt and McDaniels are integral in swinging the momentum with their energy. Role players usually flourish in home games, so this is the match for them to prove themselves and lessen the negativity surrounding the foul trouble of Towns every game.
Russell, Edwards combine for 60+ points
Coming off back-to-back dreadful losses in Game 2 and Game 3, Edwards and Russell must possesses that relentless ability of not wanting to go home early and constantly being aggressive and attacking the sensational Memphis defense. They could start by forcing Jackson Jr. into early foul trouble because that gives them a huge opening without an incredible shot blocker in the middle.
The assertiveness has been lacking from Edwards and Russell, but anyone would know they are more than capable to outplay the whole Grizzlies squad. The offensive prowess of Edwards and Russell is one of the best in the league, but it is the inconsistency that has been haunting him over the course of the their career. In this one crucial game to avoid having their backs against the wall, Edwards and Russell must realize the importance of this tilt and emerge as stars on Saturday night.
Game 4 is must-watch television with all the on-court and off-court drama in this series as the Grizzlies are hoping to head into Memphis with chance to clinch on Game 5. Conversely, Minnesota has other plans with another home game on their plate. Tying the series at 2 would not be smooth-flowing against this rugged Memphis squad, but the Timberwolves will put off a fight and hopefully pull off another enormous upset.