The Minnesota Timberwolves (4-7) travel to Los Angeles to play the Lakers (4-6) on Wednesday night in the Staples Center. Game time is 7:30 PDT and will be televised on ESPN. Here are three things to look for during tonight’s matchup:
Tyson Chandler’s LA debut
After he was bought out by the Phoenix Suns, Tyson Chandler made the decision to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers and provide front-court depth for a team that desperately needed it. He will be available for playing time right away tonight, and it’s likely that we will see him be a backup for starter JaVale McGee. The weakest and most exploitable part of the Lakers playstyle so far this season has been the lack of a true backup center, and Chandler is the perfect match for the team in that regard. The former NBA Defensive Player of the Year will help provide a stable presence on that end of the court, which the Lakers desperately need.
The Jimmy Butler show
Jimmy Butler has sat out recent games for the Timberwolves, citing “general soreness” or “precautionary rest,” but really, it’s been a leverage tactic with the front office in regards to his trade request that he made over the summer. It’s unknown whether the former all-star will sit out against the Lakers on Wednesday night, and until then, it’s hard to foresee what the game will be like. We’ll keep you posted when we find out a decision either way.
Luke Walton’s job security
Following a rough start to the season, it was reported that Magic Johnson yelled at Luke Walton. This led many to believe that Walton’s job was on the line. Johnson gave Walton a vote of confidence, saying that he wouldn’t fire the coach unless something “drastic” happened. It’s unclear what a drastic turn would be for Johnson, but that vote of confidence has saved Walton’s job… for now.
The Lakers weren’t able to defeat the Timberwolves earlier in the season, losing the game 124-120. This time, they hope that things turn out differently.