After their first road playoff win since 2004, the Timberwolves were looking to take a 2-0 lead against the second seed Memphis Grizzlies. Well, that wasn’t the case for the Wolves. Outside of the first quarter, Memphis pretty much dominated in every way possible. It was a tough game to watch for Minnesota fans, but nothing that they aren’t used to. Let’s break down the game by each quarter to see what happened to the Timberwolves.
1st Quarter (32-33 Memphis): The first quarter didn’t look too bad for Minnesota. Oh wait, outside of the Patrick Beverly technical foul within the first 60 seconds of the game. Yep, the first minute of play, great way to start right? From there, the fouls didn’t stop, with KAT getting into early foul trouble. It seemed as if each team was going to shoot free throws every possession and just see which team could make more. Besides the foul trouble, KAT remained aggressive on the offensive end of the floor. On the other side of things, Towns was unable keep pressure on defense. This really hurt the Wolves because Ja Morant was relentless with his attack on the rim, the reason the Grizz won the first quarter.
2nd Quarter (17-27 Memphis): The second quarter is when the Grizzlies really hit their stride, making a run to put this game away with ten minutes left in the half. After that early surge, it seemed as though the Wolves were going to push back, but one thing held them back. Where on earth was Anthony Edwards? ANT seemed to be having one of the worst games he’s had in the league so far, with nothing falling through. Outside of ANT’s troubles, Minnesota’s offense struggled to hang on to the ball and turnovers proved deadly as the Wolves lost the second quarter by double digits.
3rd Quarter (28-36 Memphis): Seeing a theme? I know I did watching the game, the Grizzlies kept winning every quarter. This is the time of game where things got really bad, as Ja took over the game yet again. KAT couldn’t keep himself out of foul trouble, and the entire team had already seemed to given up. Minnesota was playing lazy and didn’t box out Memphis at all, causing big issues. The Grizzlies were able to shoot wide-open three-pointers the entirety of the quarter while the Timberwolves were settling for really poor shots. The amount of times I questioned out loud, “Why on earth are you taking that shot?” was a lot higher than it should’ve been.
4th Quarter (19-28 Memphis): The final quarter, but did it really matter? At this point the Grizzlies were already leading by 19 points and Minnesota had practically given up. Outside of poor effort from the Wolves, the Grizzlies seemingly could not miss. It seemed that for a five minute stretch, any shot they took, dropped. It was frustrating when Minnesota finally played good D just for the Grizzlies to knock down the shot right in the defender’s face. This quarter mostly consisted of Memphis coasting to the win (led by 30 for a while), and some bench players from each side seeing game time.
Final (96-124 Memphis): As you can see, the score really wasn’t close when it was all said and done. If the Timberwolves want to compete in this series, they will have to make a lot of adjustments. In the Wolves first win, they out-rebounded the Grizzlies, but in this game it wasn’t even close. Memphis had 14 offensive rebounds compared to Minnesota’s 4 (Yahoo! Sports). The Wolves need to learn from this game, and move on from what can be summed up only as an abysmal performance. If not, Minnesota stands no chance against the number two seed.