So far, the Minnesota Timberwolves have yet to have the start of the season they hoped for after a successful offseason, adding 3x defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert. Instead, Minnesota is in a slump at 6-8, struggling to find chemistry in a new style offense.
Here is what Timberwolves Head Coach Chris Finch had to say about their 6-8 start to the season.
"“I still believe this is a good team. We just haven’t earned the right to be good.”“It’s just surviving that adversity is what the issue is. We haven’t earned the right to be a good team or anything like that yet. We still have to prove it.”"
Surviving the adversity of the NBA is easy to say but hard to do, especially in the Western Conference. The Timberwolves are 2-5 since the start of November, and their schedule only gets harder from here on out. However, Minnesota overcame a skilled Cavaliers team to earn their sixth victory of the season. A much-needed win for a franchise that has started the season off on the wrong foot.
A game in which the Timberwolves arguably played their best performance to date, Minnesota had five players score in double figures and shot 50% from behind the arc. They played together as a unit for once, and it paid off big time. Minnesota held off a hot Cavalier, Darius Garland, who dominated with 51 points and 10-15 from 3PT range.
D’Angelo Russell’s performance was noteworthy
The Wolves will have to win these types of games if they want to make a run in the playoffs. A couple of players, like D’Angelo Russell, stood out in the Timberwolves’ win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Russell was on the hot seat since his poor performance last postseason vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. So Sunday, the seven-year NBA veteran came to play, hoisting up 15 points in the first quarter on a perfect 6-for-6 from the field. So here is the D-Lo Timberwolves fans want to see.
Timberwolves HC Chris Finch on DLo’s performance:
"“He came out very aggressive. He got to his spots, which he’s super comfortable there. Then he started moving the ball around, finished with 12 assists. After he got himself going, he really opened up the floor.”"
Russell finished the game with a season-high 30 points, 12 assists, and 4-5 from 3PT, and although his performance was great, he is averaging below 15 points per game for the first time since his rookie season in 2015-2016.
Russell has proven to be a skilled point guard in this league, but now is the time for him to play like it consistently. With his future in Minnesota on the line, all bets are off on which direction the Wolves will go before the trade deadline Thursday, February 9, 2023.
Timberwolves’ teamwork played big part in win over Cavs
Karl Anthony Towns knocked down 29 points to help the Timberwolves defeat the Cavaliers. But he was not alone. Taurean Prince came off the bench and scored 19 points, including two critical free throws down the stretch. Rudy Gobert added 15 points and cleaned up 12 rebounds.
"“They still got 16 offensive rebounds on us, but I thought we were battling on the glass with a lot more physicality. We talked about our smalls having to defensive rebound tonight, Ant had 7, DLo had 2, McLaughlin had a couple, so they did a much better job chipping in.”"
Teamwork makes the dream work. The quicker the Timberwolves can buy in, the faster they can turn this season around. Creating winning habits will help the Wolves play winning basketball. So put the egos aside and come together as one unit, one band, and one sound.
It remains to be seen whether this win will transfer to wins in the future, or whether egos will continue to derail the Timberwolves’ season.