It’s Been a Long Time Since the Timberwolves had Two Top-15 NBA Players

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – OCTOBER 27: Jimmy Butler #23 and Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on October 27, 2017 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)



As we sit in the midst of some organizational tension, Thursday’s Timberwolves related reports were a refreshing change of pace.

For the second time in franchise history, Minnesota had a pair of players receive All-NBA Team honors:

The dual recipients, Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns helped lead the Wolves to their first playoff appearance since the 2003-04 season. In funny how that works fashion, that’s the only other year Minnesota had a 1-2 punch that were both among the Association’s top 15 players.

Jimmy Butler’s first season with the Timberwolves has resulted in his second All-NBA honor. In 2017, the then Chicago Bull was also selected third team.

On top of those accolades, the 28 year-old was named to the league’s All-Defense Second Team. That’s the fourth time the top-notch, two-way player, has received that recognition.

His 22.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 4.9 APG season provided plenty of noteworthy performances:

For Karl-Anthony Towns, just like earning that inaugural All-Star appearance, the first one is the hardest. He’ll now be a regular on both fronts for the next decade.

In his third NBA season, the 22 year-old lead the league in double-doubles(68) and finished the 2017-18 campaign with an average of 21.3 PPG (20th in NBA) and 12.3 RPG (4th in NBA) (youngest player named to the any of the three teams).

As a result of Thursday’s news, KAT might be seeing dollar signs:

The Big Meow is now eligible for an extension worth “up to 30% of the salary cap in 2019-20.

While that aspect slightly stings, by simply looking at the company he keeps, it’s evident Towns is more than worth it:

All-NBA First Team:

  • Anthony Davis: Pelicans (Center)
  • Kevin Durant: Warriors (Forward)
  • LeBron James: Cavaliers (Forward)
  • James Harden: Rockets (Guard)
  • Damian Lillard: Trailblazers (Guard)

All-NBA Second Team:

  • Joel Embiid: 76ers (Center)
  • LaMarcus Aldridge: Spurs (Forward)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: Bucks (Forward)
  • DeMar DeRozan: Raptors (Guard)
  • Russell Westbrook: Thunder (Guard)

All-NBA Third Team:

  • Karl-Anthony Towns: Timberwolves (Center)
  • Paul George: Thunder (Forward)
  • Jimmy Butler: Timberwolves (Guard/Forward)
  • Victor Oladipo: Pacers (Guard)
  • Stephen Curry: Warriors (Guard)

When breaking down the three different squads, the most difficult thing to wrap my brain around, is the ridiculous amount of talent. The NBA’s recent trend of rising ratings appear to be far from finished.

Unlike a certain other commissioner, Adam Silver ain’t worried about nothing:

Other than that, I’d like to formally submit my two complaints:

First and not foremost, the fact that Damian Lillard made the first team over Russell Westbrook seems like a mistake. With all due respect to Big Game Dame that spot should have gone to Mr. Triple Double.

  • Lillard: 26.9 PPG, 6.6 APG, 4.5 RPG, 51.9 eFG% (73 games)
  • Westbrook: 25.4 PPG, 10.3 APG, 10.1 RPG, 47.7 eFG% (80 games)

While I’m far from alone in that opinion, this guy is on somewhat of a different level:

The 27 year-old PG offered up a poetic response:

My second complaint relates to second team selection of a Mr. DeMar Darnell DeRozan. To me, that spot should have been given to Butler.

DeMar DeRozan: 2017-18 Stats

Jimmy Butler: 2017-18 Stats

While those numbers are very similar, that’s not the case when comparing DeRozan and Butler’s ability on the defensive end of the court.

If you want to make the argument that Jimmy’s games played (59) in comparison with the Raptors Guard (80) is what held the Timberwolf back, that’s understandable.

Assuming that’s your adage, then Towns and his 82 games played should leap over Joel Embiid, right? The artist known as The Process only played in 63 contests.

Joel Embiid: 2017-18 Stats

Karl-Anthony Towns: 2017-18 Stats

Just like it was with DeRozan and Butler, those numbers are very similar. However, Embiid is much better on defense. You can’t have your cake and eat it, t

Whatever. Screw it. They can have their cake and eat it, too. There are much bigger fish to fry.

 

Johnny Minnesota (@TheJohnnyMN)

MinnesotaSportsFan.com