Minnesota Timberwolves New Year’s Resolutions

Dec 7, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) celebrates with forward Kevin Garnett (21) against the Los Angeles Clippers at Target Center. The Clippers defeated the Timberwolves 110-106. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 7, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) celebrates with forward Kevin Garnett (21) against the Los Angeles Clippers at Target Center. The Clippers defeated the Timberwolves 110-106. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 28, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Sam Mitchell watches from the sidelines against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Sam Mitchell watches from the sidelines against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /

Sam Mitchell’s Resolution: Solidify a crunch time lineup.

At this point, it’s a moot point to complain about Mitchell’s complete rotation structure. It’s the number-one complaint that seemingly all Wolves fans have against him.

However, something that may be more alarming is Mitchell’s late-game rotations. The Wolves have been in a lot of close contests this year, but as the game winds down the young Wolves completely lose control. Often, the Wolves lose late in games because of Mitchell’s insistence on sticking with the young players.

Now, I understand the idea behind the decision. I realize that guys like Kevin Garnett and Tayshaun Prince won’t be available in two or three seasons when the Wolves are truly competing. However, to use that as an excuse for not playing those guys down the stretch this season is what I don’t understand.

Take two games from this week as examples. First, on Monday against the mighty Spurs, KG played one of his better offensive games of the season. Obviously, we still know Garnett is still a capable defender. As the fourth quarter wore on, the Wolves were still in the game. They could have beaten the Spurs in their own building, something that hasn’t been done since last March!

However, Mitchell opted to have his young guys finish the game instead of bringing in Garnett. What ensued was a ton of missed free throws and sloppy play from the young guys that eventually led to their demise. You have to assume that Garnett’s presence and energy would have given the Wolves a better chance at a marquee victory.

Now, look at Wednesday’s win against Utah. The Wolves struggled to put the Jazz away for the entire game, this time Mitchell opted for Garnett down the stretch. And what became of that? A Wolves win, with the help of Garnett:

I’m sorry, but Gorgui Dieng would not have made that screen. It’s the little things that Garnett does sometimes.

Anyway, I think Sam Mitchell needs to make up his mind, either you stick with your young guys, or you bring on the vets. I think you all now know what my vote is.

Next: Wolves' Resolution