The Wolves fell to the Spurs 107-99 Wednesday night to kick off the 2017-18 season.
Here are three observations from the game:
Even Without Kawhi, The Spurs Are Still Very Spursy
All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard sat out of Wednesday night’s game with a quad injury.
That didn’t stop the Spurs from being the Spurs, and we already knew that.
Five players hit double digits for a Spurs team that shot 46.1 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from the 3-point line and 89.5 percent from the free-throw line.
The Spurs were 7-1 in the regular season last year without Leonard. Obviously, the team is better with him, but they don’t really miss a beat without him.
Wiggins Hits 5,000 Career Points
In the loss, Wiggins scored a team-high 26 points. Going into the game, he needed just five points to hit 5,000 for his career. He became the eighth-youngest player to do so at 22 years and 237 days old.
Wiggins signed himself a big contract leading into the season and he didn’t disappoint in the team’s opening game. His 26 points to open the season marks a career best. We’ll see if he can continue that on Friday against the Jazz at home. He’ll either have rookie Donovan Mitchell or the underrated Joe Ingles guarding him.
Still Getting To Know Each Other
We knew this wasn’t going to be a flip-of-the switch situation after brining in so many news faces this offseason. In three preseason games, the Wolves looked better than we expected but that wasn’t the case on Wednesday night. And that’s okay. It’d be weird if everything worked out immediately.
Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague, two players who have been pretty good scorers in the NBA, combined for just 23 points. Karl-Anthony Towns was good, but didn’t dominate the way he did at the end of the last season. But it was just one game. These players have proven over the course of their careers that this will all balance out.
Again, going up against the well-oiled machine that is the Spurs (even without Leonard) isn’t the easiest test. In fact, it’s quite hard.
We’ll see the Wolves next Friday night at home against the Jazz. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on Fox Sports North and 830-WCCO AM.