Let’s recap how well Timberwolves managed w/o Karl Anthony Towns

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Wolves sans KAT played well enough

By the time Karl-Anthony Towns fell to the basketball court, clutching at his calf muscle, the Timberwolves entered the game against the lowly Washington Wizards (35-47) with a record of 10-10. The Timberwolves would emerge from that contest with a record of 10-11.

The final record for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2022-23 NBA season was 42-30.  From that 10-11 mark, the Timberwolves would play 32-19 basketball, and would only have the benefit of Karl-Anthony Towns for eight more games over that entire stretch.

Let’s say that again. The Minnesota Timberwolves lost Karl-Anthony Towns to injury while the team was at a record of 10-11. The Timberwolves finished with a record of 42-40, so the team played to a record of 32-29 the rest of the way.

After KAT returned, the Wolves played even better

Since Towns did return for the final eight games of the season, how well did the team play after his return? The Timberwolves finished out the season, with a rusty Karl-Anthony Towns, by playing to a 5-3 record.

So breaking this all down.  The Timberwolves competed at a pace of 15-14 with KAT last season. So without KAT, the Minnesota Timberwolves played to a 27-26 record. So all we have proven so far is that the Timberwolves were only a little better than a .500-record basketball team, right?  Let’s revisit that once more.

In the first chapter (10-11), the Timberwolves entire roster was awkward. In the second chapter, while Karl-Anthony Towns was injured (27-26), the Timberwolves were severely handicapped by competing without the second-best player on the Timberwolves roster. For the third and final chapter (5-3), the Timberwolves managed to find a bit more success despite the fact that Towns was rusty from his 53-game absence.