Karl-Anothony Towns did not play the last time the Wizards faced the Timberwolves. This time around, the Wizards looked to take advantage of Andrew Wiggins missing the game for personal reasons. Now 10 games into the season, the Wizards seem to have an identity. A team that has a high powered offense led by an elite shooting guard, but struggles greatly on defense and will have to outscore teams to win.
Karl-Anthony Towns gave the Wizards all they could handle
The Wizards had their hands full with Karl-Anthony Towns (36 Pts, 13-18 FG, 10 Reb). Thomas Bryant and Moritz Wagner were physical with Towns and threw double teams at him, but Towns was not phased. KAT got Bryant and Wagner into foul trouble, and got chippy with Wagner with his physical play in the post. This escalated with KAT knocking Wagner to the ground, dunking the ball, and placing it on Wagner’s chest, leading to KAT receiving a technical foul.
Bradley Beal was on a mission
Bradley Beal was on a mission of his own and took over this game. The Wizards star was aggressive from the start and asserted himself effectively. Beal (44 Pts, 15/22 Fgs, 10 Ast, +31) attacked the Timberwolves defense, and got any shot he wanted. Beal got to the free throw line 14 times, making 13. You could tell Beal did not want to lose this game, and his energy was infectious to the rest of the team.
Moe Wagner Breaks Out
Moritz Wagner (30 Pts, 13/15 Fgs, 15 Reb, +18) was also a surprising contributor. Wagner has consistently brought energy off the bench with his willingness to take charges and hit the occasional three. Wagner was great in the pick and roll with Beal, and showed defensive prowess in the paint. He struggles with fouling, as he ended the game with 5 fouls, but has proven himself to be a key contributor off the bench. Towns is a tough matchup for any center, but Wagner took the matchup head on and was very physical with Towns on the defensive end. This impressed me, and Wagner earns himself more playing time with each game he plays well in.
The defense is still a work in progress
The Wizards were more focused defensively and communicated better. That being said, they still gave up 73 points in a half, which is an ugly trend that needs to come to an end if the Wizards want make any kind of playoff push. Bradley Beal acknowledged this during his halftime interview. https://twitter.com/HoopDistrictDC/status/1195525738876874753?s=20
The Wizards (3-7) face the Orlando Magic (5-7) on Sunday at 6:00 PM to try and get a win streak going.