A1 hokey pokey? Timberwolves injuries mount in 2nd L to Pistons

Mandatory Credit: Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports /

On paper, the Minnesota Timberwolves should be a better team than the Detroit Pistons. But for the second time this season, the Pistons have overwhelmed a listless Minnesota Timberwolves team without explanation. The ESPN recap for the game cited the Pistons as being short-handed, and their recap covered the fact that the Pistons were without three rotation post players: Marvin Bagley III (hand), Jalen Duran (ankle), and Isaiah Stewart (shoulder).

But the same recap failed to mention anything about the Minnesota Timberwolves’ own laundry list of team injuries, as the team entered the game without All-Star power forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns, without backup point guard Jordan McLaughlin, and without point forward Kyle Anderson.

Timberwolves roster depleted by injury

With the absence of bother McLaughlin and Anderson, the Timberwolves starting five had to scramble to find a player who could take on much of the point guard duties, forcing the team to promote Austin Rivers into a starting role for the game.

With Rivers starting, the Timberwolves roster also reached out to every player in the Timberwolves’ backcourt, from Bryn Forbes to Jaylen Nowell, to try to give the team a fighting chance.

Timberwolves force Anthony Edwards to do the hokey-pokey?

But amidst all the chaos, Anthony Edwards’s hip soreness, an injury that he has fought with since taking a terrible tumble in a December 30, 2022, loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, flared up once more in this game and he was ruled out of the game at halftime.

But with the score well out of hand, the team somehow got Edwards back onto the basketball court to try to rally the team.

The game was already lost, but the team’s decision to bring a wounded Anthony Edwards back into the game in some form of NBA hokey-pokey strategy was and is a very dangerous one to make by the team.

Timberwolves roster is snakebitten by injuries/illness again

Even as the national media headlines opponents’ injuries, they continue to gloss over the fact that the Minnesota Timbewolves continue to battle through the bumps, bruises, and boo-boos that they are more than delighted to discuss at length on other NBA rosters. The story of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ loss was not about the fact that the Pistons won without the help of three rotational players.

The true story is the fact that without a healthy Jordan McLaughlin or Kyle Anderson or Anthony Edwards on the basketball court, the Timberwolves struggle to find anyone on the team who can handle the basketball, set the pace, and spearhead a defensive effort. If there is one vulnerability, one glaring weakness, to this Timberwolves roster, it’s that lack of a viable point guard that seems to run this team aground time and time again.

118. 86. 135. 64. Final

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