Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Karl-Anthony Towns was officially left off of the Western Conference All-Star roster for the first time in three years.
For the first time in three years, the Minnesota Timberwolves will not have a representative at NBA All-Star Weekend.
After back-to-back seasons as a Western Conference All-Star, Karl-Anthony Towns fell short and will not be part of the team.
It was mostly expected, as Towns has appeared in only 30 of the Wolves’ 47 games thus far this season. However, Towns’ numbers are largely better than they were a year ago, with only his rebounding dipping significantly. His assist and usage rates are at career-high marks, and his true-shooting and effective field goal percentages are also at career-bests.
But the Wolves are currently mired in a 10-game losing streak and have lost 14 consecutive games with Towns in the lineup, so it’s understandable that his national reputation has taken a bit of a hit.
The main gripe here is Brandon Ingram, who has been objectively worse than (read: still really good, but not as good as) Towns this season and plays for a team that is basically as bad in the 19-29 New Orleans Pelicans.
Counting stats? Towns wins points, rebounds and blocks per game, is tied on steals per game and behind by 0.1 in assists per game. Shooting efficiency? Towns has higher field goal, 3-point, effective, and true shooting percentages and only trails in free throw shooting, 85.6 percent for Ingram and 81.2 for Towns.
Advanced stats? Towns leads in every single rate metric (including assists) except turnover percentage. His Win Shares per 48 minutes are significantly higher, at .223 vs. .132. That’s the difference between a superstar and a really good starter.
But Ingram has played in 13 more games for a team that is 3.5 games better than the Wolves in the standings, so here we are.
In terms of the overall Western Conference voting, Towns finished No. 9 in the fan tally. He fell to No. 16 among players and didn’t receive any votes from the media. With the weight of 50 percent to fan vote and 25 percent each to media and players, Towns ultimately landed seventh in the West after the starters were named. Portland’s Carmelo Anthony and Dallas’ Kristaps Porzingis both finished ahead of him but did make the team.
Rudy Gobert was one spot ahead of Towns and was named to the West squad. Notably, Utah’s Bojan Bogdanovic tallied more player votes than Towns and finished just one spot behind him in the overall weighted rankings.
At any rate, Ingram’s availability gave him the nod over Towns’ injury-marred first half of the season, and KAT will be watching from his vacation spot this year, wherever that might be.