The Minnesota Timberwolves appeared to hold a players-only meeting on New Year’s Eve, just after the team met their sixth consecutive defeat to close out 2022. This time the drubbing came at the hands of the Detroit Pistons, a team that entered the game with a record of 9-29, and whose 4-16 road record certainly suggested that this was a team that the Timberwolves could and should beat.
And at halftime that was most certainly the case, as this team emerged from the locker room with a 64-50 scoring advantage
Player-only meetings are typically held by the leader of the team, a player who recognizes lackluster play, or unmotivated performances, and want to air it out as a group. And based on the comments of players after the game, the Timberwolves players seem to have an idea of who may need to step up.
The Timberwolves are stuck in a downward spiral
The Timberwolves finished out the 2022 calendar year on a six-game losing streak. Perhaps most disappointing is the fact that the Timberwolves lost a game to the lowly Detroit Pistons after putting up a 14-point halftime lead. That has begun to stir the pot a bit, and some are now openly calling for the Timberwolves to fire Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch. While that is unlikely to occur anytime soon, it does suggest that the team will be forced to shake things up a bit.
With the NBA Trade Deadline just a month away, that could compel the Timberwolves to be more active than they had originally planned to be. At this point, with a record of 16-21, the Timberwolves could fall on either the sellers’ side or the buyers’ side at the deadline. But to become buyers, the Timberwolves will need to find some way to win, and do so quickly.
The players-only meeting could help refocus the players on this team. But to get long-term benefits, players need to get healthy quickly and get back out on the basketball court. After that, this team must show rapid improvement in playing as a team, particularly their energy level in the second half of games. Until all that happens, expect more players-only meetings in the future.