If Timberwolves tumble, it’s their swan song to playoff hopes

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves News Timberwolves schedule Karl-Anthony Towns Anthony Edwards
Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports /

The Timberwolves’ plot thickens

The Timberwolves have continued to hope for a rally around a timely return of injured star Karl-Anthony Towns. He has been out of the lineup after just 21 games this season, and there are still questions about when, and if, he will return. With just nine games remaining on the Timberwolves’ schedule, there is barely enough time to knock off the rust and get him ready to compete in the NBA Playoffs, if the team even makes the post-season.

It’s a conflicting strategy. Any decision to play Karl-Anthony Towns now may have the adverse effect of making the Timberwolves less competitive in the short term. At a record of 36-37, the Timberwolves have zero margins of error. There are no games that the Timberwolves can strategically plan to risk losing in the hopes of a better chance of success at getting into the NBA Playoffs.

Oh no, not Ant-Man

And now, when the Timberwolves need all hands on deck, the Timberwolves must face the nightmarish scenario of competing without Anthony Edwards, who suffered a high-ankle injury on Friday, March 17, 2023, against the Chicago Bulls. While there is never a good reason to count Edwards out of any lineup, he did not suit up against the Toronto Raptors on March 18, 2023, nor did he suit up against the New York Knicks on March 20. And with a sprained ankle, the best that the team can do is let him rest his ankle and heal up:

The Timberwolves are strained to the limits now. With injuries to the team’s two top scorers, the Timberwolves must count on the entire roster to step up. That is exactly what happened at Madison Square Garden as the very shorthanded Timberwolves upset the red-hot and full-strength Knicks. But that was just one game, and the Timberwolves have nine more games to play this season.