The Timberwolves have largely played flat since the All-Star break, and, more specifically, since the injury to Jimmy Butler. Let’s see where they stand with eight games remaining in the regular season.
Although the Wolves are still firmly in the playoff picture, they certainly have not made the hunt easy for themselves.
Since the All-Star game and Jimmy Butler’s injury that followed immediately afterwards, the team has gone 6-7. The .462 winning percentage tagged with that mark ranks 19th in the league in that span.
The most common thought behind this has been the idea that Jimmy Butler’s absence is the cause for the sluggish play. It makes sense, of course, and it remains hard to argue that his absence doesn’t have an impact on how the team plays. But to say that his absence is the only reason the Wolves have played under .500 since the All-Star break would not be true.
The rest of the team needs to step up and play with a sense of urgency at this point, plain and simple. The team has gone from third-place in the West down to seventh in the span of a month.
First, let’s take a look at what’s gone right in recent weeks.