Monday night’s Minnesota Timberwolves’ loss against the Dallas Mavericks was likely the highest-stakes game that each of the two teams have been through this season. Let’s look at what happened to the Timberwolves.
Poor rotations led to Timberwolves’ loss to the Mavericks
The Wolves and Mavs were sitting at nearly the same record, each battling to escape the play-in and the imminent threat of Playoff LeBron, the Timberwolves were desperate for a win to set themselves apart in the West.
Despite the efforts of the team, they still lost in a game that came down to the wire at American Airlines Arena. Let’s analyze why.
The Timberwolves were not nearly as efficient offensively, with the Big 3 only putting up 59 points in total. The team found themselves attempting to score in the mid-range more often than what is efficient. It seemed like down the stretch, scoring was a chaotic and impatient endeavor, and players that aren’t typically playmakers forced up shots and committed turnovers.
Patrick Beverley took on a shooting role and went 1-for-5 from 3-point range and 2-for-10 from the field. Jordan McLaughlin simply did not have the playmaking impact that was necessary and ended with just a handful of stats in the box score. Jaylen Nowell forced up poor shots late and took away from the team in important possessions.
Late in the fourth quarter, Finch subbed D’Angelo Russell out of the game in favor of Beverley rather than subbing him in for Nowell. Why did he sub out the best playmaker and arguably the Wolves’ most clutch shooter with just seven minutes left in the game?
It seems like Chris Finch had a hard time keeping the fire hot for the Timberwolves offensively, with several stretches where non-starters could not score in the first quarter, as well as a poor start offensively, and a large run by the Mavs to start the second half.
The Timberwolves have had a heck of a stretch these last few weeks, but Monday was a reality check for Minnesota. The Wolves have to win games against playoff teams in order to reach their full potential, and it starts this week with the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday and another round against Dallas on Friday.