Pack of 3 Timberwolves named finalists for awards

Miami Heat v Minnesota Timberwolves
Miami Heat v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

As the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to add to its historic season, they will have three more opportunities to be recognized regardless of how the postseason ends. 

Head coach Chris Finch, forward Naz Reid, and center Rudy Gobert were all named finalists on Sunday in their respective Coach of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year award races.

Gobert has the opportunity to tie Hall of Fame players Ben Wallace and Dikembo Mutumbo with four Defensive Player of the Year awards. He has anchored the top-rated defense in basketball, averaging 2.1 blocks, and 9.2 defensive rebounds per game. The Wolves big man led the NBA in individual defensive rating and defensive win shares. 

A lot has been said about the Gobert to Minnesota trade. But with Gobert being a relative lock to secure the award, he has vindicated the doubters and turned a historically bad defensive franchise into a juggernaut. 

Minnesota reserve, Reid, is a finalist for the Sixth Man of the Year award alongside Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk and Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis.

All until the last week and a half of the regular season, this felt like Monk's award to lose. Unfortunately, he got hurt, and with Karl-Anthony Towns' injury, Reid received more opportunities to highlight his impressive skills.

Monk was fantastic for the Kings averaging 15.4 points and 5.1 assists per game off the bench this season. Reid also had some pretty good numbers for his role, averaging 13.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season. But Reid has been able to get it done on both ends where he finished fourth in defensive rating this season whereas Monk was nowhere close. This is a two-horse race with Monk still the slight favorite for the award at -125 to Reid’s -105 on DraftKings.

Coach of the Year comes down to Minnesota's Chris Finch, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Mark Daigneault, and Orlando Magic’s Jamahl Mosley. Finch improved the Timberwolves record by 14 games compared to last season and bested DraftKings' expected win total by 12 games this year. 

Daigneault also bested the Thunder’s pre-season win total by 12 games this year and led Oklahoma City, the second-youngest team in the NBA, to the number-one seed in the Western Conference. With the Thunder not making the playoffs last year, it's understandable that Daigneault is the favorite for the award this year but Finch is a probable runner-up this year and was possibly one win away from taking the award. DraftKings has Daigneault at -300 with Finch right behind him at +400.