After missing the season opener in Toronto, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels is out Saturday night against the Miami Heat. According to head coach Chris Finch, McDaniels is expected to remain day-to-day with a left calf strain.
With McDaniels absent, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kyle Anderson will likely fill in at small forward in his place.
During Finch’s pregame media availability, he praised Anderson’s offensive flexibility and highlighted how important Anderson will be for the Timberwolves against Miami’s zone defense.
“[Anderson’s] our most important connective tissue… we can employ him in all sorts of ways. On the ball, off the ball, in the middle of the zone, on the baseline,” Finch explained.
Anderson missed both of Minnesota’s matchups with Miami during the 2022-23 season, so the Saturday game will be a great opportunity for the Timberwolves to fully utilize him as they look to move back to .500 even with the absence of McDaniels
Jaden McDaniels recently signed a massive rookie contract extension worth north of $130 million. The Timberwolves will hope to have him back soon since he’a key piece to Minnesota’s roster. His length and defensive capabilities contribute massively to Minnesota’s game plans.
Meanwhile, the Heat come into Saturday’s game on the second night of a back-to-back without Jimmy Butler (rest), Kevin Love (left shoulder contusion), Haywood Highsmith (knee), Caleb Martin (knee) and Josh Richardson (heel). Both teams are facing early season injury challenges, but the Wolves definitely have a health advantage.
We will share more details on McDaniels as they are announced.