Kevin Garnett Prophesized Timberwolves Gm 3 Loss, Soft Refs Included

Kevin Garnett, Timberwolves
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

After taking the first two games of the series by an average margin of victory of 16.5 points, the Minnesota Timberwolves and their fanbase (including Kevin Garnett) were feeling very confident as the NBA Playoffs went back to Target Center for a home matchup with the Denver Nuggets. Yet, Friday’s Game 3 loss showed the Wolves aren’t quite perfect.

The Timberwolves were dominated on both ends of the floor in the Nuggets’ 27-point win, where they outshot Minnesota by 10% (53.8% compared to 43.7%). They also committed fewer turnovers (10 compared to 14), and won the rebounding battle for the second game in a row (40 to 32).

Some might say that the referees can’t be blamed for a near 30 point loss. And those people are right. But there’s no doubt the referees were determined to call a much tighter game on Friday night in Minneapolis, than they were Monday night in Denver. And that quick whistle early was clearly something Minnesota wasn’t planning for.

Kevin Garnett, the Big Ticket Prophet

Kevin Garnett, the greatest Timberwolf of all time, was though. He knew a potential loss was coming in Game 3 and he predicted exactly how it would go down. KG knew the refs were going to be whistle happy early, and that it would make it a lot harder for the Wolves to suffocate the Nuggets defensively, like they did in game 2.

“I think that they are not going to let them play the way they played in Denver. I don’t think the game is going to be that physical. If the refs are going to play a part in this game, then Denver’s going to win. They let them play physical, then I got Minnesota.”

Kevin Garnett with a premonition about Timberwolves’ Game 3 loss

KG knew what was going to happen at the start of game 3. The refs were going to call the game tight, which would make it difficult for the Timberwolves to play the type of suffocating defense that they did in the first two games of this series, especially game two.

Minnesota Timberwolves game 3 loss to Nuggets was ugly

In the end, the amount of fouls called against each team won’t raise any eyebrows (Wolves committed 20 fouls compared to Denver’s 18). But this isn’t about calling more fouls against one team, than another. It’s about a much quicker whistle all game, which naturally played against the in-your face defensive style Minnesota wants to play.

The Timberwolves had no choice but to adjust their playing style, even if it meant getting less aggressive on defense. Once they did that, the Nuggets offense was suddenly able to function much more efficiently. Combine that with a lackluster offensive performance, and you start to understand why the Wolves were blown out by 27 points.

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After getting punched in the mouth on Friday night, rest assured, Chris Finch, Micah Nori, and the rest of the Timberwolves’ coaching staff, will have their squad ready to go on Sunday night, for a pivotal Game 4 back at home in front of a rowdy Target Center crowd.

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