The Minnesota Timberwolves lost their season opener, and we can cite the fact that the Timberwolves simply did not deliver the same frequency and intensity of assists that had this team virtually unstoppable in the 2023 preseason. But that is simply the symptom. What caused the sudden regression from a disciplined, and coordinated offense effort, to a team that seemed to second-guess what to do with the basketball?
Well, it was the first meaningful basketball played for the Minnesota Timberwolves for this roster, and that often creates the opportunity for bad habits to resurface. The first problem area to boil up in the loss to the Toronto Raptors was the fact that the Timberwolves had noticeably fewer assists in the game, which allowed the Raptors’ defense to swarm to the basketball.
Timberwolves All-Star shooting guard Anthony Edwards, who ended the game with just one assist, discussed that shortcoming in his post-game assessment of his performance:
But there was a far more sinister force at work in this one as well.
While Ant-Man was willing to take his shots, that was not the case for the other Timberwolves’ top scorer power forward Karl-Anthony Towns. On more than three different occasions, Towns had an open lane or open shot but tried to make a basketball move with the presumed intention of feeding the basketball to his teammate, Rudy Gobert.
Rather than get the assist, the hesitancy in Town threw either his shot or his drive to the basket off-kilter, which resulted in no points and the Raptors getting the rebound.
In all cases, it would have been far better for Towns to assess the situation and realize that the optimal shot under those circumstances was his to make. And that
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