The Timberwolves held three of their starters out of Tuesday's 121-111 preseason victory over Miami.
Point guard D'Angelo Russell, along with centers Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns, sat out the first game the Wolves played this season.
Given that, there wasn't much to glean from a stylistic or schematic standpoint pertaining to how the Wolves will look this season, especially on the defensive end, given Gobert's presence there.
But there were a few individual performances that stood out for the Wolves in a good way as the season opener nears Oct. 19.
Nowell looks comfortable
When the team announced Russell would sit out, the conventional wisdom might have said Jordan McLaughlin would get the start at point guard. That wasn't the case. Instead, coach Chris Finch went with Jaylen Nowell in Russell's spot.
Finch has said Nowell will be a big part of the team's internal development this season, and giving him the start instead of McLaughlin was a sign Finch and the team are backing up their intent to give Nowell a healthy dose of minutes.
Nowell responded Tuesday with 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting (2-for-5 from three-point range) in 23 minutes. Nowell attacked the rim and found his shot in rhythm playing off Anthony Edwards. It was an encouraging start for a player the Wolves are expecting a lot from this season.
McDaniels picking up where he left off
Jaden McDaniels' last game of last season was perhaps the best he played in a Wolves uniform.
The third-year forward nearly kept the Wolves afloat himself in Game 6 against Memphis with 24 points on 8-for-9 shooting. If McDaniels could bottle that game and play like it on a consistent basis, he would be headed for quite the career.
But the things McDaniels was doing toward the end of last season were present on the floor Tuesday night. After not creating much for himself in his first season and a half, McDaniels showed the aggression with which he closed the year last season. He took defenders off the dribble and wasn't just content to settle for open threes others created. He finished with 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting and displayed a nice touch on some of his shots.
As usual, he was a pest on the defensive end, using his length to induce a number of bad passes, poor shots and turnovers.
The defense was there from Day 1 with McDaniels, and the Wolves are counting on him to be their best defender, this season. McDaniels' offensive game appears ready to go too.
Edwards was masterful
Anthony Edwards was the best player on the floor Tuesday night. That's not exactly an earth-shattering observation given who the Wolves held out and the fact that Jimmy Butler didn't play for the Heat.
But Edwards was head and shoulders above everyone else. He had 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting. He scored at all levels of the floor and dished out three assists. He looked strong at the rim, weaved his way around screens to find his midrange game and buried two of six from deep.
The regular season will show just how much of a leap Edwards will make in his third season, but he was off to about as good a start Tuesday as one can have.