It was yet another disappointing outing for the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday evening against the Phoenix Suns. Looking unorganized and downright lethargic at times, the Wolves lost their fifth game in their last six outings.
There were a plethora of issues presented or reinforced surrounding this Timberwolves team on Wednesday night. But one moment concerning D’Angelo Russell stood out among the rest as thoroughly head-scratching.
Midway through the second quarter, Jaylen Nowell sunk a free throw and the Wolves proceeded to run down the floor on defense. As the Suns set up their offense, Nowell, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, and Nathan Knight lined up on defense.
Timberwolves played 4-on-5 with Russell on sidelines
So where was the Timberwolves’ fifth defender? D’Angelo Russell was still standing on the sidelines at the scorer’s table, waiting to check in the game.
As Damion Lee missed a three-pointer from the corner, Minnesota was unable to grab the rebound with just four players on the floor. Phoenix cleaned up the miss and got the ball to a wide open Torrey Craig, who buried a spot-up three. Russell finally rushed into the game in time for the Suns to notch three points on the scoreboard.
The play was both extremely frustrating and depressingly poetic for Timberwolves fans. The chaos and ensuing defensive failure couldn’t have been a better metaphor for the Wolves’ season so far.
Disastrous moment was poetic for Minnesota Timberwolves
It’s unclear as to what exactly happened on the play that left Russell so confused. It’s possible D-Lo didn’t realize he was supposed to check in following Nowell’s first free throw, or perhaps the referee made a mistake in telling him when to enter the contest.
But no matter the cause, it was a highly embarrassing moment for Minnesota that quickly went viral on Twitter. NBA personalities from all over the league were quick to chime in on the bizarre turn of events.
It’s safe to say that Timberwolves fans’ feelings watching the play were similar to how they’ve felt watching this team all season thus far: confused and highly frustrated. While this Minnesota team had high expectations all offseason, it’s perplexing to watch them struggle so much to begin the season.
Similarly, the Wolves fans at Target Center had to have been ripping their hair out watching D’Angelo Russell just stand on the sideline while the Suns exploited a handicapped defense. There couldn’t be a play more fitting to the struggles the Minnesota Timberwolves have encountered early on this season.