The Timberwolves have hit a new low. Again.
In their 11th straight loss, the Wolves failed to show up against the Golden State Warriors, one of the few teams who can claim to be as bad as the Wolves, and ended up getting battered. After 48 minutes of exasperation, the siren finally sounded and the Warriors ran out as 9-point winners. Yikes.
Andrew Wiggins led the team with 22 points, albeit on 10-of-27 shooting, and G-League call-up Jordan McLaughlin comfortably had his best NBA game with 19 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. For the Warriors, D’Angelo Russell backed up his 52-point performance in Minnesota with 30 points and 4 assists tonight. He was flanked by Alec Burks (25 points, 8 assists, 3 steals) and Damion Lee (14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists).
Outside of a few moments of fun and fight from the G-Leaguers, there really isn’t much to say in favor of Minnesota. They are swiss cheese defensively, the offense is a stagnant eyesore, they can’t rebound either end to save their lives and literally nobody looks like they’re having any fun. All of those things were as prevalent as ever tonight.
The sore thumb tonight was particularly the offense. Minnesota shot just 35-88 (39.8 %) from the field and 11-34 (32.4%) from beyond the arc. They also had 16 turnovers and, outside of a run in the last quarter that helped them get it all the way back to 6 points, they looked completely dumbfounded on ways to put the ball in the cylinder. Golden state, who shot 44 percent themselves, didn’t look amazing offensively but they found it easy to keep at arms reach against a team who can’t throw a rock in the ocean at the moment.
On the Warriors end, they looked like the complete opposite tonight. Despite possessing a ton of players that are questionably NBA talent, they played with enough hustle and heart to buoy them to a win. They moved the ball, battled on the glass, and looked desperate to win.
Minnesota clearly has a dearth in talent, but fans would like them to emulate the way Golden State played tonight. I’m sure head coach Ryan Saunders would appreciate it, too. The more of these kinds of losses they rack up the more he looks to have completely lost this team. He has been dealt a really bad hand and things will surely look brighter if and when some reinforcements arrive, but he isn’t doing himself a lot of favors right now.
In Saunders’ corner, It was encouraging to see some of the 3rd-stringers finally empowered by their coach to ball out after years of the Tom Thibodeau regime refusing to look to the lower level. Outside of that, not much going for him tonight.
It was another game that forces the fan to try and put faith in the long-term and the potential to one day build a semi-decent team around Towns, but it’s getting harder by the night. Fortunately, Karl-Anthony Towns is edging closer to a return but it seems like the season will be down the drain before he hits the court again.
Merry Christmas, y’all.