The Minnesota Timberwolves have been trying to find the magic formula to advance beyond the first round in the NBA Playoffs. But in the 2022-23 NBA season, that formula may include not having the benefit of PF Karl-Anthony Towns suiting up.
This was never going to be a stellar season for the Minnesota Timberwolves star. He suffered from a prolonged illness in the offseason, which dropped his weight precipitously. He was moved from his center position to power forward, to make way for teammate Rudy Gobert. Then, he suffered a severe calf strain which is related to an Achilles Tendon rupture, but where the injury occurs in the muscle and not the tendon.
Suffice it to say that the Minnesota Timbewolves have played more games without Karl Anthony Towns than with him this season. But for the most part, the Minnesota Timberwolves fans are A.O.K. with that.
And that’s a bit . . . concerning.
While the Timberwolves have scratched and clawed their way back to a record of 24-24, and their status at .500 has them just above the Play-In bubble as the sixth-seed in the Western Conference of the upcoming NBA Playoffs.
But this is a team that, without Karl-Anthony Towns, has risen to a record of .500 multiple times, quickly followed by a drop below .500. Even as we have reported the fact that there is no timetable for KAT’s return, some of the comments have been less than complimentary to the player.
Yes, these Minnesota Timberwolves can win games. And with the struggles this season in the NBA Western Conference, the Timberwolves may even earn a playoff berth without Towns. But this Timberwolves roster is already showing stress fractures. Veteran center Rudy Gobert is missing games. PF Kyle Anderson and PG D’Angelo Russell’s production show wide swings. Even young shooting guard Anthony Edwards has been forced to play through a nagging hip/tailbone injury.
This team needs Karl-Anthony Towns back and healthy to have any chance of advancing in the playoffs. Sadly, that fact appears to upset fans.