Game Thread: New York Knicks vs Minnesota Timberwolves 21/2/2021 7:00 pm [Game #31]


Staff member



(7-23) -- (14-16)

Madison Square Garden, New York, NYMSG7:00 PM EST

Probable starters:



Injury Report

Minnesota TimberwolvesNew York Knicks
Jarret Culver - Left ankle sprain (OUT)Mitchell Robinson - Fractured right hand (OUT)
D'Angelo Russell - left knee surgery (OUT)Austin Rivers - Illness (QUEST)

Game Preview

Tom Thibodeau won't have to look far Sunday night for reminders of what he's trying to accomplish with the New York Knicks.

The Knicks will look to continue their surprising surge into playoff contention when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves in a nonconference matchup.

The Knicks had their three-game winning streak snapped and missed a rare chance to climb back to .500 Wednesday night, when they fell to the host Orlando Magic 107-89. The Timberwolves suffered their third straight loss and remained in the NBA's basement Friday night at 7-23, when they concluded a homestand by falling to the Toronto Raptors 86-81.

The lopsided loss to the Magic served as a reminder of how far the Knicks have to go and how thin their margin for error remains despite their relatively fast start. New York entered Saturday allowing an NBA-low 103.7 points per game but is just 7-15 when allowing at least 100 points in a game, as opposed to 7-1 when allowing fewer than 100 points.

"We didn't defend well," Knicks forward Julius Randle said Wednesday night. "We didn't help each other well. We could be better. We've relied on our defense and shown all year we're a great defensive team. We got to be better next game."

Despite Wednesday's loss, the Knicks are guaranteed to enter Sunday with a grip on an Eastern Conference playoff spot under Thibodeau, the first-year head coach who is trying to do what his six predecessors could not by directing New York to the playoffs.

The Knicks haven't reached the playoffs since the spring of 2013, the longest drought in the Eastern Conference and the third-longest dry spell overall in the NBA behind the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns.

The Knicks represent the second reclamation project for Thibodeau, who helped the Timberwolves snap a 13-season playoff drought -- two seasons shy of the longest postseason drought in NBA history -- in the spring of 2018. Minnesota had eight coaches -- including Kevin McHale and the late Flip Saunders twice apiece -- in between playoff appearances.

Thibodeau, who was serving as team president as well as head coach, was fired from both positions after the Timberwolves stumbled to a 19-21 start in 2018-19. Minnesota has since undertaken a complete rebuilding project centered around Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell

But Towns and Russell have played together just four times this season for the Timberwolves, who are 2-2 in those games and 5-21 without the duo. Towns suffered a wrist injury before battling the coronavirus while Russell will be out until at least mid-March following left knee surgery.

On Friday, the Timberwolves trailed by 19 points in the first half and mounted a 25-1 run spanning the third and fourth quarters before allowing the Raptors to overcome a six-point deficit by scoring the game's final 11 points.

"We've got to play the whole 48," said Timberwolves rookie forward Jaden McDaniels. "Just be super intense while we play defense.

"The fourth is different from the first, second and third. So it's a whole other level of intensity we've got to pick up."

--Field Level Media



Wsup Rady .... Thanks for the Game-Thread .. A must WIN game for the Knicks coach Thibs tonight.
KAT Towns vs Knicks all-star Randle
Rubio vs Payton
Strong team effort on both ends of the court in the 1st quarter. Knicks lead 30 to 18. Need to keep our foot on the gas and keep up the good play.


A few days to prepare, coming off a bad loss... playing against his former team... Well, you knew the team would be ready and prepared. Just a matter of execution. So far, so good.

Scoring for starters and first 2 subs.
Continued good team effort led by Randle. Knicks lead by 11 at the half. Knicks need to figure out how to get away from the 3rd quarter disasters that have plagued them recently and seal this one away.


Wow! Rubio wasn't allowed to cut threw the lanes for a layup in his first 3 season in the NBA .. How the NBA CHANGED !!!


Halftime .. Knicks 61 - Minny 50

Good Knicks B.ball tonight, we scored above 60 for the half, and we held our opponent to 50 pts.


The Wolves performance spells out their 7-23 record .. they should have kept Thibs
Noel & Gibson has been out-playing KAT tonight .. KAT is the biggest player on the court by far .. yet, he is taking step back 3s as opposed to posting up.


Thibs did not need to play Randle the final 3 min of 3rd qtr.
Rookie Obi has a nice passing & shooting game .. Give Obi decent playing-time.
For those not watching, Towns took over in the 4th quarter.

Randle hits 2 FTs to give the Knicks a 1 point lead with less than a minute to go. All about defense at this point.
Wow, Gibson did his best to hold his ground, defending Towns with Noel fouled out, but Towns backed him down. Lucky for the Knicks, Towns? shot went in and out.

Knicks lead by 3 after 2 Burks FTs. 20.9 seconds to go. Got to take away the 3.
Rubio draws the foul but misses the second FT. Randle grabs the board and Burks extends the lead to 4 with 2 more clutch FTs.
Knicks hold on to win by 4.

RJ got 34 minutes, including major 4th quarter minutes in a close game, and Thibs featured him down the stretch allowing him to isolate on offense (with mixed results).

No doubt in my mind people have been reading way too much into RJ?s minutes the last few games.
Knicks have now won 4 of their last 5. 15 - 16 record and 7th seed in the East. Only 1 game out of 4th seed in East.

People can feel how they want about this team and Thibs. We have made huge progress as a franchise in a very small amount of time.


Another bad showing against a team we should beat easily by double-digits.
O.K. A win is a win. Are we gonna move on to .500?


Knicks finished a game and held on for the win! A big win, to get back on track.

Obi got a tip back for a bucket! There you go! And we needed every points win this game, especially those 36 FT attempts. And we nearly drained them all.

Imagine adding Lavine or Beal?
Wow, Ryan Saunders fired as Minnesota?s head coach following tonight?s loss to the Knicks. TWolves are as classless and clueless a franchise as it comes. They stunk for years, Thibs made them a playoff team, they fire Thibs, and now they?re back to being a bottom feeder.

I hope the Knicks front office is smarter with Thibs than that.


All Star
Tonight is what I'd like to see a little more of in how we use RJ. I just don't see how Randle doesn't get in as an All-Star
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