There are losses, and there are bad losses, and then somewhere down past there, you’ll find the Timberwolves’ 127-113 loss in Atlanta on Monday night.
The Wolves led 79-60 at half. They led 86-65 with nine minutes to go in the third quarter. But somehow, they turned that 21-point lead into a 14-point loss, one that involved a 60-20 run by the Hawks.
60 to 20! Over a period of 19 minutes, the Wolves GAVE UP SIXTY POINTS and at the same time ONLY SCORED 20 POINTS.
Either one of those stats would be utterly abhorrent, but put together, it has to be one of the worst 19-minute stretches in NBA history.
This seems to keep happening to the Timberwolves; no second-half lead is ever safe with them, and at some point, you have to think that they make changes. I don’t know what those changes are, but to me, this starts with head coach Chris Finch, who never seems to have a plan to stem the tide. Every time the camera cuts to him during one of these disasters, he looks like a man who forgot to tie up his boat, and is now watching it slowly drift out to sea.
Finch pinned the blame on the Wolves’ lack of finishing in the third quarter, when they missed 11 of 13 shots close to the rim, but that ignores the fact that on the other end of the floor, Dejounte Murray was scoring 22 points in the third quarter, outscoring the entire Wolves team in the process.
The Wolves seem to have talent, but they can’t defend a pick-and-roll, can’t prevent the other team from turning the game into a track meet, can’t figure out how to grind out points when their shots aren’t falling. Whenever the chips are even slightly down, the Wolves end up standing still on offense, watching Anthony Edwards or Karl-Anthony Towns try to dribble through a simple defense, then clank an outside shot.
Minnesota is supposed to be figuring things out. Edwards is supposed to be learning and growing and KAT is supposed to be learning how to play with Rudy Gobert and all of that, but at some point, isn’t the guy holding the clipboard responsible for, you know, teaching them?
They never seem to learn. This sort of thing happens all the time to Minnesota, and it keeps happening, and unless the Wolves make some changes, I don’t see how it will ever stop happening.
Winter came early in Minnesota this year, with three inches of snow falling last night… and right now, it’s looking like it’ll be an awfully long winter for the Timberwolves, too.
WOLVES vs Denver, 7pm, BSN
WILD vs New Jersey, 7pm, BSN
GOPHERS MEN’S BASKETBALL, Macalester, exhibition, 7pm
GOPHERS VOLLEYBALL at Ohio State, 5:30pm, BTN
GOPHERS WOMEN’S HOCKEY vs MSU-Mankato, 6pm
GOPHERS MEN’S HOCKEY vs Minnesota-Duluth, 7pm, FOX 9+