The 2022 playoffs are off to a flying start, and what many dubbed as one of the most entertaining first-round series between the Grizzlies and Timberwolves has lived up to the hype.
Coming off an emotional play-in win versus the Clippers, Minnesota came in hot to Memphis and showed they belong in playoff company. Memphis has had an amazing season, earning the #2 seed, but now they have to back that up when it matters, and it seems like the Wolves won't make it easy for them.
Minnesota has won Game 1 in Memphis, winning 130-117 and stealing homecourt advantage from the start. Anthony Edwards led the way in his playoff debut (36p,6a), alongside his big man Karl Anthony Towns(29p,13r), who definitely bounced back after that poor showcase in the play-in game. Alongside some great roles from guys like Beasly, McDaniels, Russell, and of course Beverly, Minnesota took charge of the game from the start, never letting go.
On the other side, for the disappointing Grizzlies, Ja led the way with 32 points and 8 assists, but he also struggled from the field. Dillion Brooks added 25 points, but that was pretty much it from their side. Jaren Jackson Jr. was battling foul trouble for most of the game, being completely taken out of rhythm, and it affected Memphis's defense vastly.
This game had it all. From young star power in guys like Ja, KAT, Ant, JJJ, and more to the scrappy guys getting feisty in Beverly and Dillion to some amazing plays, like Towns posterizing Jackson Jr. or Morant skying over D'Angelo. We were all excited to see these rising young teams go at each other, and all we can say is, hopefully, it goes seven games deep.
Memphis might be rattled a bit, but there is time to turn things around and get back on pace. But it won't be easy. This Minnesota bunch is talented, scrappy, and fearless, but that's precisely what also made Memphis thrive this year.
With a few tactical adjustments and better performances from key guys like Jaren, Bane, and Adams, this will be a much different story. But if Edwards and Towns continue to play like superstars, Minnesota will be a team nobody wants to see. One thing's for sure, we can't wait for Game 2.