Timberwolves prepare for NBA Play-In Tournament
MINNEAPOLIS, M.N. (Valley News Live) - What a game, what a win for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Despite being down 14 points and a Brandon Ingram 42-piece, the Timberwolves pulled off an emphatic victory over the New Orleans Pelicans to advance to the NBA Play-In Tournament, just like last season.
The peak performers easily were Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, both players putting up fantastic performances, Edwards with 26 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks and four steals, the first Minnesota player with a 5x4 game, and most coming in an emphatic fourth quarter.
Speaking to Head Coach Chris Finch postgame, he said these kind of performances are what’s going to help out the team further down the playoff line.
“We thought he did a really good job in the first half, just kinda setting the tone defensively on them, ya know, they made a ton of big plays, whether that be steals, an incredible block,” Finch said. “Normally, he’s like, putting a lot of juice in the gym with his offense, but tonight, I think his defense is what lifted up our energy more than anything else.”
Despite the win, halfway through the game, the Wolves lost both defensive stars: Rudy Gobert and Jaden McDaniels took ill-timed punches, one against teammate Kyle Anderson in a video that went viral on Twitter, and the other against a curtain in the team tunnel.
“Yeah, it’s obviously very frustrating, ya know, a couple blown assignments. A lot on the line tonight, we’re not proud of that behavior by anybody,” Finch said. “Ya know, immaturity, certainly immaturity has been one of our issues all season, been immature at the wrong times. Probably points to why we’re 3-9 or 3-10 against some of the teams we should be better against, but those days are gone, so we have to focus on what we got, and what we’re getting moving forward with, and I guess we play the Lakers, so head out there.”
Now, there’s no update on what Rudy Gobert’s status is going to be for these games going forward, but we do know that Jaden McDaniels suffered a broken right hand and could be out indefinitely, at least as far as we know right now.
For the next game, though, Minnesota is doing it just like last year, they’re in the No. 7 vs. No. 8 game in the Play-In Tournament, except this time, they’re on the road. They face the Los Angeles Lakers tonight in Crypto.com Arena in downtown LA, the winner earning the No. 7 seed and will travel to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
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