Anthony Edwards started his NBA career for the first time on Friday evening – alongside D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Ed Davis and Josh Okogie.
The Wolves’ head coach Ryan Saunders has had to shuffle the line-up all season as Minnesota has dealt with an injury or two. Yes, every team plays through COVID-19 times, but the wolves who fell against Philadelphia at the Target Center on Friday between 118 and 94 were hit particularly hard.
Naz Reid missed Friday’s game with wrist pain after falling awkwardly on his shooting hand in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s Golden State loss. Reid is not believed to have any structural damage to the wrist beyond a sprain, but he has pain in his shooting hand per source.
His Friday absence left Minnesota (4-14) without the two main centers and Karl-Anthony Towns was still on health and safety logs.
That’s not ideal when you play against Joel Embiid, who is playing at MVP level for the leading 76ers of the Eastern Conference (14-6) earlier this season.
Embiid prevailed all night against an understandably over-fulfilled Ed Davis and ended with 37 points and 18 rebounds without playing in the fourth quarter.
Edwards had 15 rebounds and four assists on his first start, which for the Timberwolves essentially came out of necessity. In the absence of a center, Minnesota had to shrink. Davis started and Jarred Vanderbilt – the only other healthy « big » team – played the backup center.
Jarrett Culver would normally have been a candidate to start, but he has a sprain on his ankle that is expected to keep him away for at least another week per source. Like Towns, Juancho Hernangomez is still in health and safety logs.
Minnesota is currently devoid of the majority of its 3-point gun threats. The Wolves went from deep Friday 10 for 33.
D’Angelo Russell returned after missing the last three games with an injured quad, but he didn’t seem 100 percent. He finished with only 14 points on 3 for 11 shooting. Ricky Rubio’s battles with sales continued after he committed four in 18 minutes.
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