Timberwolves keys in Game 7 vs. Nuggets

What do the Wolves need to do in order to advance?
May 16, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32)
May 16, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves will play in their first Game 7 in 20 years to the day on Sunday when they go up against the Denver Nuggets. What do they need to do to come away with a win in Denver?

It's fair to assume that Nikola Jokic will play like Nikola Jokic and Anthony Edwards will play like Anthony Edwards, so it's often the role players that can change the high-pressure situations in a Game 7.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Towns began the postseason playing some of the best basketball of his career against the Suns and early in the series vs. the Nuggets. Over the last four games, he has struggled to find the same efficiency, averaging 15.0 points and 9.0 rebounds on 44.4% shooting from the field.

The Wolves offense becomes much more dynamic and tough to guard when he is at his best. They have plenty of options like Mike Conley Jr. and Jaden McDaniels, but Towns is undoubtedly the second-best shot creator on the team. A big game from KAT could go a long way in advancing to the Western Conference Finals.

Who will be the Game 7 legend?

In the history of NBA Game 7s, there always seems to be an unlikely hero that emerges. Twenty years ago it was reserve Eddie Griffin who had 18 points and seven rebounds as the Timberwolves knocked off the Kings. Players like Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Naz Reid, McDaniels and Conley have performed like some of the best role players in the league, but a game like this is their time to prove it on the biggest stage.

All four players had impressive Game 6 showings, all with at least nine points. Getting that level of production takes the pressure off players like Towns and Edwards. Sometimes you need a role player to play like a star and if Minnesota gets that its chances of advancing increase dramatically.


You could make an argument that Sunday will be the biggest career basketball game of nearly every player on Minnesota's roster. Denver is obviously defending its throne from last season, so they have a clear experience edge.

This is something the Timberwolves have zero option to change or improve, but there is no doubt that it's a disadvantage. Nearly all of the Nuggets know what to expect heading into the game. The Wolves will need to play like they've been there before. Emotions will be flowing and it will be tense and sometimes all you can do is make smart basketball decisions and not beat yourselves.

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Tony Liebert