Whatever the coach says, goes, right? Well, hopefully, that is not the case for the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose head coach Chris Finch shocked me and perhaps many more fans with his response to the recent lack of including center Rudy Gobert in the offense. Gobert is one of the key players to any chance of success in the NBA Playoffs for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the team continues to operate during the season like the knowledge and ability to get him involved will just come to the team when needed.
So far that has not been the case.
The Minnesota Timberwolves, now 43 games into the 2022-23 NBA season, are not improving in the areas that cause even good teams to struggle. We know that their perimeter defense is one of the worst in the NBA, if not THE worst.
Now, for the third time this season, the Minnesota Timberwolves ran what amounted to a four-man team on the offensive half of the basketball court. Why? Well, center Rudy Gobert, who is planted under or near the basket, took one shot in the game.
Just one shot.
Coach Finch is not concerned, but he should be
That allowed an injury-riddled Phoenix Suns team to rally back to within five points by the end of the game. In essence, the Suns were able to pit five defenders against four Minnesota Timberwolves shooters. And that is a huge problem. But it’s nothing compared to the response by Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch when asked about center Rudy Gobert’s exclusion from offense:
He poo-poo’d it as though it is of no concern. Imagine the thoughts running through center Rudy Gobert’s mind now, after his coach stated publicly that he ‘gets paid to block shots and rebound,’? That statement set off a four-alarm fire in my mind. Coach Finch knows better than that. Was this a psychological tactic to get the players to rally around Gobert?
Whatever the reason, I personally don’t like it. It’s tough enough for a new player to integrate with his teammates, but when the head coach is rubber stamping excluding him from the offense? It was plain to see that Rudy Gobert is quite frustrated right now. So this is like splashing gasoline on a fire. Well, more like a volcano.
Well, that volcano is going to erupt this year at some point in time. Stay tuned . . .