Karl-Anthony Towns Rose Up When Timberwolves Needed Him Most

NBA: Playoffs-Minnesota Timberwolves at Denver Nuggets
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves franchise has been through the ringer. While having never won it all, they have also consistently been a punch line when it comes to professional sports in the state.

During his nine years as a professional player, Karl-Anthony Towns has seen it all. When the team needed him most, the longest-tenured Timberwolves player delivered a performance fitting for the moment. That’s probably what he was thinking about, as he meditated in the Ball Arena stands before game 7 vs the Denver Nuggets.

Going up against the defending NBA champions, on the birthday of franchise legend Kevin Garnett and on the 20-year anniversary of the last time Minnesota advanced to the Western Conference Finals, it was KAT who came through and pushed them into the next round once again.

Karl-Anthony Towns rises to the occasion for Minnesota Timberwolves in game 7

A man that had endured shortcomings from teammates, head coach turnover, and Jimmy Butler takeover, finally got the opportunity to put the team on his back. With Anthony Edwards and Rudy Gobert struggling to get anything going, it was Towns who almost single-handedly kept Minnesota in the game, through certain stretches.

His defense on the three-time MVP Nikola Jokic was impressive all series long, and while the Nuggets star got his on Sunday, Towns being able to take the matchup while remaining on the floor let Gobert work in other capacities.

As the post game press conference went on, Karl-Anthony Towns talked of the nine years he had spent with the franchise, and how this was a culmination of all those moments combined. He’s seen it all. He was here when Garnett came back. He was drafted and coached by Flip Saunders, who died less than six months after Karl was drafted.

And man, no doubt Flip is looking down smiling on KAT this morning. Last night is something that Saunders dreamed about when the Wolves drafted Towns No. 1 overall in 2015. Even if all the criticism over the years has been warranted, on the biggest stage, for one night, he shouldered the load when his team needed him most.

Related: Anthony Edwards Gives Chris Finch His Flowers

How Chris Finch lines up the Timberwolves going forward remains to be seen. The Dallas Mavericks are a team that Minnesota has handled throughout the season. They go into the Western Conference Finals as favorites to move onto the NBA Finals.

If that is going to come to fruition though, more performances like the one Sunday night will be commanded of Towns. He was dominant offensively, and remained available defensively. For a team that clicks when he plays smart, it couldn’t have been a more perfect set of events.

Minnesota watched their big man get into foul trouble, and more than one of those picked up came through less than ideal decision making. Still though. Towns carried enough poise to remain in throughout the end of the game, and it was both he and Edwards that were able to embrace on the court postgame as they got the job done.

Related: Ant Said it, but Karl-Anthony Towns Forced Charles Barkley to Bring His Ass to Minnesota

No matter how this storyline plays out, the Minnesota Timberwolves are Anthony Edwards’ team. They have been all season, and Towns’ presence or the addition of Gobert have never changed that. For a guy that has seen it all, while having gone through it all, there couldn’t have been a bigger or better moment than what Towns gave his team on Sunday night.

If and when Minnesota keeps winning, expecting Towns to remain in the middle of it makes sense. He’s never going to get the accolades a few of his teammates will, but there’s no one who more understands what this means to the state and franchise than he does.

Eight more wins are what’s left, and he’ll be chasing all of them.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: