You might expect Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch to show signs of the wear and tear that this season has put him through. It’s quite clear that from the moment that the Minnesota Timberwolves front office, led by new Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly, pulled the trigger on the blockbuster trade to acquire All-Star center Rudy Gobert, the stakes for this team escalated.
The team had gone from happy to make the playoffs to a team that expects to make the playoffs and advance into the second round. So far, the performance of the Minnesota Timberwolves roster, battered by injuries, has not followed the script.
Elevated expectations can be very unforgiving. The Timberwolves roster has become a Frankenstein monster of sorts, it was brought to life by an NBA experiment that appears to have gone wrong. The goal was to pair two of the best big men in the NBA and force opponents to deal with it. Instead, the Timberwolves have struggled to get their two big men on the same basketball court from the get-go, and it has been the Timberwolves, and not their opponents, that have been forced to deal with it.
Coach Finch remains the right guy for the Timberwolves
Before we go viral on the expectation of the Minnesota Timberwolves making a change at head coach due to the inconsistent performance of the battered Timberwolves roster, consider some facts first.
For starters, Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch is the only head coach that young and promising stars like Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels have ever known. So these players have forged an invaluable relationship with their head coach. Break that, and you risk regression by one or both players.
For a second point, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ experiment to install both Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns in an NBA High Wall defense is according to the specs of Coach Finch. While there are still bugs to work out. like shutting down the corner three-point shots, the team has committed too much to pull the plug so quickly
A third and final point, Coach Chris Finch has the demeanor and disposition to weather these stormy seas right now. The last thing this young and unfamiliar Timberwolves roster right now is to have a head coach who panics and begins spinning the dials and pulling the levers to satisfy the whims of fans who are not really connected to the team in terms of observing practices and how players are handling the day-to-day events connected with a long NBA season.
The Timberwolves still have some fight in them
The Timberwolves still have some fight in them, which became all too apparent after an outgunned and outmanned Timberwolves repelled the NBA-leading Denver Nuggets rather handily. After the game, Coach Finch had nothing but praise for his team:
It was the right message to send. There were no undertones suggesting that the team is finally listening to the wisdom of the coach. There were no snarky side messages to players. There were no hints of frustration or concern for his job.
It would be quite understandable if the pressure shows on Coach Finch. After all, those Timberwolves rumors are heating up to make a coaching change, if only from a group of frustrated fans. But you will see no indication from Finch that he is paying any attention to anything beyond getting this team on track.
In the end, that is what keeps him atop the right coach for this team.