Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 takeaways from loss to Clippers

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 18: Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers is fouled by D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half of the game at Staples Center on April 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 18: Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers is fouled by D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half of the game at Staples Center on April 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Timberwolves lost to the Los Angeles Clippers tonight. It was never expected to be close – nor were those expectations surpassed.

No one played particularly well for the Timberwolves tonight – including franchise centerpiece Karl-Anthony Towns, who scored 16 points on 5-15 shooting, with a team-low plus-minus -29.

The Timberwolves emptied their bench in a game that was uncompetitive as soon as the mid-second quarter. It was all-around bad. No one played over 30 minutes tonight.

Takeaway #1 – The Timberwolves defense is bad.

We already knew the Timberwolves defense was bad. We’ve known this for a long time.

But what was displayed tonight was much worse. It was about as bad as we’ve seen all season. It was original-Justice-League-movie bad. The Clippers made 21 of 42 3-point shots tonight, with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard only combining for 50 total minutes.

The defense was bad enough to allow the Clippers to give Demarcus Cousins minutes. And in the year 2021? That just won’t cut it.

Takeaway #2 – The Timberwolves are letting Anthony Edwards take ALL shots late this season.

There are only 15 games left in this season. Anthony Edwards is attempting 17 shots per game this season, with that number being even higher during the Chris Finch era. While Anthony Edwards has not been the most efficient player of recent, it’s refreshing to see Finch allow the offense to run through Edwards at time.

The decision-making and shot selection absolutely needs improvement. But Anthony Edwards is well on his way to earn a spot on the All-Rookie first team, and might be doing enough for the Timberwolves to consider moving Malik Beasley this coming offseason.

Takeaway #3 – D’Angelo Russell is the swing player for the Timberwolves night-to-night.

When he’s at his best, D’Angelo Russell has the potential to carry the Timberwolves any given night. He’s proven that the two-man game between he and Towns has the ability to be near-unstoppable.

Tonight, in 22 minutes, however, Russell was inefficient in virtually every way. He scored 11 points on 13 shots while dishing four assists to six turnovers.

Next. Wolves: The Next Pick, Pt. III. dark

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ next game is against the Kings on Tuesday.