The Minnesota Timberwolves won Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs First Round Series versus the Memphis Grizzlies. It was a shock to most people, as the Grizzlies had an amazing season and ranked No. 2 in the Western Conference with 56 wins. This isn’t a blow to the Timberwolves, who also had a good year, but everyone was expecting the Grizzlies to take Game 1.
Timberwolves did so behind Anthony Edwards, scoring 36 points. The bench also contributed significantly, scoring 43 points. With their entry into Game 2, the Timberwolves could be in prime position to beat the Grizzlies once again and put the truly favorites in a holeshot as the series moves to Minnesota.
Here are three bold predictions from Minnesota Timberwolves for Game 2 against the Memphis Grizzlies.
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Timberwolves Predictions for Game 2 vs. Grizzlies
Anthony Edwards will score over 30 points again
There are no words to describe how Edwards played in his first playoff game of his career. While Karl-Anthony Towns was also great, the stunning sophomore was the real star of the show with 36 points on filming 12 of 23.
However, it’s not just about his pure stats, it’s about Edwards taking responsibility for carrying this team to victory. He obviously had good backing, but his 36 really got the Timberwolves where they need to be. He was tough on attacking the Grizzlies, who had no answer for his gameplay throughout the match. If he can replicate that model, Timberwolves can hope for a lot more in the series.
It’s very easy to see Edwards playing this kind of game again. He’s scored over 30 on nine occasions this year, and while he doesn’t sound like a ton, he’s pretty solid for a sophomore. The way the Timberwolves did it should give so much optimism going forward that they have a true star in their ranks.
The best indication of how good Edwards is is his lack of fear of being shot. There was a spell in the fourth quarter where the Grizzlies were fairly close and Edwards lost a somewhat uncontested triple pointer. A good number of young players stopped shooting, but Edwards made three more pointers a few minutes later, and he made it, raising the Timberwolves 10 points. Look for Edwards to get a huge game back.
Timberwolves will repeat their 3-point efficiency
Overall, the Timberwolves team relies heavily on three-pointers. They have a strong attack and play at a high pace. With 100.9 possessions per 48 minutes, the Timberwolves topped the league in that category. Thus, it is only natural that they also have the highest number of tries and attempts at 3 points in the league, and 12 on the best percentage. While the Grizzlies are a fairly good defensive side when it comes to perimeter, Timberwolves ranked 12th in the league on 3 throws allowed and attempts allowed as well as 11th in opponent’s percentage 3 points, Timberwolves shot 39% in The first game and 16 of 41 attempts. It wouldn’t be too hard to assume that they will continue down this path in Game 2.
This prediction is especially valuable given the fact that D’Angelo Russell was only one for three 3-pointers, far from his regular season stats. The Timberwolves keeper was generally bad, and if he had the money in the second game, especially if he was outdone more than three, the Grizzlies would be in a world of mischief. Fortunately for the Timberwolves, they shot Malik Beasley 4 of 10 off the bench, so they have insurance in case Russell plays poorly again. Find Timberwolves to continue the 3-point barrage in Game 2.
Timberwolves will win Game 2
Although the Timberwolves’ victory was surprising and impressive at the same time, there’s not much that can’t be believed from this game that could not happen again in Game 2. To the Grizzlies credit, all the main players have strong matches , with Ja Morant losing 32, Dillon Brooks scored 24 with three makes behind the arc, and Desmond Payne added another 17 points on top of that. The Timberwolves had some players that exceeded their season averages, but also D’Angelo Russell only lost 10 points on 2 of 11 shots. Even with Russell completely out of the game, aside from his nine assists, the Timberwolves continued to win.
That should be a huge confidence boost for this young team. This is a match between two very young teams, with the Grizzlies being the second youngest and the Timberwolves in sixth. Since they are two young teams, what happens is that momentum and confidence dictate a lot of what happens on the field. With younger teams, it can be difficult to take a comfortable approach to the game after a loss, so the Timberwolves may be in a position to use 1 game win and turn it into 2 away wins.
Minnesota is playing with a lot of confidence right now, so look for it to keep things going in Game 2 to shock Memphis.