The Minnesota Timberwolves are the most frustrating franchise in Minnesota and it’s not really close. This especially holds true because of the heartstrings they’ve pulled on in the rare occasions they have been successful. In the mid-2000’s, this was a Minnesota Timberwolves town and Target Center was the hub of the winter night-life.
But since Kevin Garnett left, they’ve been nothing but an embarrassment to our state and to the NBA. We’re hopeful that the latest regime change can turn that around, but after night’s like Tuesday, hope still feels a long ways away.
Qtr 1-3: Wolves lead 90-80— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) January 14, 2021
Qtr 4: Grizzlies lead 34-13
Disaster 4th quarter
Minnesota had a 90-80 lead going into the 4th quarter of last night’s game vs the Memphis Grizzlies, after controlling play for the first 3/4 of the game. But before 3 minutes had ticked off the clock in that final period, a 10-point lead had evaporated into a 2-point deficit.
The Wolves forgot how to play defense and couldn’t figure out how to get into their offense when Memphis denied their point guards in the backcourt. It didn’t help that Karl-Anthony Towns sat on the bench until his team was down two points.
The most unfortunate part about that, is he seemed to be the only one ready to play the final quarter when it started.
Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk
This team is never void of saying the “right things” before, during and after every loss… but when do words turn into action? When does “we need to play defense” turn into, “whoa, look at that Timberwolves defense”?
Ryan Saunders talked about more physicality down low but he continues to give Juancho Hernangomez all of the minutes at 4 and he literally hates physicality.
Where is Ed Davis? Didn’t we bring him in to provide that type of defense and mentality at power forward? Well, Ed’s been a coach’s decision ‘DNP’ for two of the last three games. He played 18 minutes vs the Spurs and the Wolves were +9 with him on the court. They won by 8 points that night.
So keep talking, Ryan. But, I’d maybe try “doing”. Reward guys for playing defense instead of rewarding Juancho for sucking at everything.
Ryan Saunders: “We got to be more physical. That’s a physical group over there. We got to be more physical plain and simple. Take pride when we’re guarding the ball. Take pride in protecting the rim.” https://t.co/mslOfn348x— jace frederick (@JaceFrederick) January 14, 2021
Gersson Rosas deserves his share of blame too
This team knew they were entering the season with a huge void at power forward and now that spot is clearly being exposed night in and night out. Ryan Saunders and the players deserve plenty of blame for how things went last night and how they’ve gone for much of this season. But if you don’t have a 4-man capable of playing NBA basketball… wins can be hard to come by sometimes.
Everyone on Timberwolves Twitter and around beat-writer world is infatuated with PJ Tucker, who can play the 4. If he’s looking to win, I don’t know why he would want to come here so they’d better get a trade package ready that the Rockets can’t turn down.
But let’s be real, 35-year-old PJ Tucker isn’t going to save this team from itself. He, or another power forward who can play defense, would definitely help but an in-his-prime Kevin Garnett isn’t walking through the locker room door.
If the Timberwolves start playing and coaching like they’ve been talking for years, the wins will start coming. But eventually you have to walk the walk or the words mean nothing.
4th quarter vs Memphis Grizzlies
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan