When you’re not, you’re not
Okay. Good stuff. But the flip side of Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell is that he can be just as ice-cold. That becomes problematic, particularly with a team that, thanks to that injury to McLaughlin, has no true ‘Plan B,’ options at the position. What do I mean?
So far in 2023, the Minnesota Timberwolves are 7-3. While the team is happy with that record, the Timberwolves could boast a record of 10-0 in January, as the team’s three losses were very winnable games. The first loss of the new year was to the Detroit Pistons, a team that has 12 wins on the season but has a record of 2-0 against the Timberwolves. In their rematch, the Timberwolves jumped out to a 10-point lead, but the feisty Pistons were relentless and chipped away until they secured their 135-118 victory.
Win or lose, D’Lo can fade fast
Against the Utah Jazz, the Timberwolves held a 10-point lead with just 10:47 remaining in the game. Once again, the Timberwolves’ opponents chipped away. Russell missed a number of shots that could have altered the outcome. The same story occured against the Denver Nuggets, when the Timberwolves held off the Nuggets for three quarters, and clinging to a seven-point lead with as little as 8:02 remaining, and a five-point lead with just 2:51 remaining.
But it was not only in losses that D’Angelo Russell disappeared from the team. In an impressive win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Timberwolves roster rallied while D’Angelo Russell sat out the final 16 minutes of the game. That is not a great look for someone who is earning $31 million this season.
So far this season, D’Lo has been held to single-digit scoring 10 times and scored 25+ points 10 times. Hot and cold? Some would argue that he is more like fire and ice.