After surrendering nearly 123 points a game to the Rockets in four regular season losses, the Wolves' defense has improved in the playoffs, holding Houston to 104 and 102 points, respectively, in the first two games of their best-of-seven series.
"We tweaked some things and we got a game plan ready for tomorrow and that's what we're going to execute," Karl-Anthony Towns said Friday.
After leading the NBA with 68 double-doubles this season, Towns has been less than average in the playoffs, posting just 8 points and 12 rebounds in Game 1 and 5 points with 10 rebounds in Game 2.
When asked if he needs to be more aggressive in Game 3 Saturday night, Towns gave an abrupt, one-word answer: "Yes."
That'll be the mantra for the entire team, though.
"You gotta fight fire with fire, man," Jeff Teague said. "They can score the ball but we can too. I think we've been so focused on defense and what they can do, and not focused on what we can do. If we do what we can do I think it'll be a better game."
Towns agrees: "If we can do that, we're not only talking about winning Game 3, we've got a chance to win the series."
Teague says it's not all about Towns
Teague is of the opinion that they have to stop force-feeding Towns in the post.
"Instead of just eying KAT down in the post trying to get him the ball, we gotta make multiple plays and multiple efforts, swinging the ball and driving it," Teague said.
The Rockets have confused the Wolves by switching a smaller defender on Towns only to bring a big to double team him once he gets the ball.
Teague says it's killing them, forcing them to "throw up some miracle shot at the end of the shot clock and it's not working."
Teague intimated that Towns' best chance to score need to come in transition, and in the half court he wants Towns to "be strong with the ball and make quick moves."
"What we've been playing like hasn't worked. We lost both games, and we played a slow pace, played right into their hands. Last time we played them here at home, in the second half we picked up the pace and it became a closer game and we had a chance to win at the end. That's the only way we can play to be successful against this team."
Game 3 tips off inside Target Center at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.