All Things Minnesota Timberwolves 2022-2023 In-Season Thread

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No it's not. Are they a little slower because they are a taller team compared to smaller teams? Yes. That doesn't mean they are unathletic. Gobert, Towns, and McDaniels are all extremely athletic for their size. So is Ant obviously.

As others have already mentioned, our offense has been far more the issue than our defense. Our bench doesn't play a lot, but they have been very good when they do play despite being 'unathletic' according to you.
Sorry, but I am far from the only one who thinks this. Johnny Athletic just talked in length about the very same thing. Barkley talked about it months ago. It isn't a hot take. it's true.

Towns is a 4. He is very unathletic for a 4. There is nothing that can change that. He is guarding quicker players every game. He can't chase them around like a smaller quicker 4 can in this age of the NBA.

Rudy is slow footed. That is just the way it is.

McDaniels is guarding quicker players almost every game.

D-Lo might be the slowest pg in the game.

You have to consider positions and defensive schemes. The Wolves can't guard the 3-ball because they aren't quick enough to chase.
 
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Iceland12

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No it's not. Are they a little slower because they are a taller team compared to smaller teams? Yes. That doesn't mean they are unathletic. Gobert, Towns, and McDaniels are all extremely athletic for their size. So is Ant obviously.

As others have already mentioned, our offense has been far more the issue than our defense. Our bench doesn't play a lot, but they have been very good when they do play despite being 'unathletic' according to you.

Add in that on Sunday, the Wolves had 64pts in the paint vs. the Spurs 34pts. The Wolves even had less turnovers, 11 to 19.

They weren't killed because the Spurs were blowing by them and getting to the hoop. The Wolves lost because they hit four 3's to San Antonio's 16.

Similar story Tuesday night. The Wolves got 14 more points in the paint, 8 more rebounds but hit four less 3's. The other difference is the Wolves turned the ball over 7 more times.

Shooting & Russell are the major problems so far. He and Finch but the "it's all on Gobert and Towns" stuff will never end.
 

kg21

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Add in that on Sunday, the Wolves had 64pts in the paint vs. the Spurs 34pts. The Wolves even had less turnovers, 11 to 19.

They weren't killed because the Spurs were blowing by them and getting to the hoop. The Wolves lost because they hit four 3's to San Antonio's 16.

Similar story Tuesday night. The Wolves got 14 more points in the paint, 8 more rebounds but hit four less 3's. The other difference is the Wolves turned the ball over 7 more times.

Shooting & Russell are the major problems so far. He and Finch but the "it's all on Gobert and Towns" stuff will never end.
Why is San Antonio hitting 16 threes?.........because we don't have the foot speed/athleticism to get to them. Most of their threes were wide open!

Do you ever notice how other teams get these wide open threes against us?

The wolves threes are always forced and we have a hand in our face. That's part of the reason we don't shoot them well. Other teams are more athletic and get out on us. Everything is contested. We don't contest.
 

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No it's not. Are they a little slower because they are a taller team compared to smaller teams? Yes. That doesn't mean they are unathletic. Gobert, Towns, and McDaniels are all extremely athletic for their size. So is Ant obviously.

As others have already mentioned, our offense has been far more the issue than our defense. Our bench doesn't play a lot, but they have been very good when they do play despite being 'unathletic' according to you.
The horrible turnovers from their horrible offense has turned into some easy buckets for other team.

Wolves continue to be the dumbest team in the league despite their roster turnover, because of DLO, Ant, and Towns.
 

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Sorry, but I am far from the only one who thinks this. Johnny Athletic just talked in length about the very same thing. Barkley talked about it months ago. It isn't a hot take. it's true.

Towns is a 4. He is very unathletic for a 4. There is nothing that can change that. He is guarding quicker players every game. He can't chase them around like a smaller quicker 4 can in this age of the NBA.

Rudy is slow footed. That is just the way it is.

McDaniels is guarding quicker players almost every game.

D-Lo might be the slowest pg in the game.

You have to consider positions and defensive schemes. The Wolves can guard the 3-ball because they aren't quick enough to chase.

Utah and SAS didn't beat us because they were more athletic. You're going to try and convince me that guys like Jakob Poeltl, Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynk, Tre Jones, and former Wolves Jerred Vanderbilt and Keita Bates-Diop, are more athletic than the current Wolves starters? Not even close.

The Wolves aren't shooting well and are trying to figure out how to play together with the new pieces. They also lack focus and playing hard at times, (a multi year problem) which is why I like them getting punched early by these lesser teams. It takes time and they'll get it figured out, but athleticism is not even close to a top issue.
 


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Utah and SAS didn't beat us because they were more athletic. You're going to try and convince me that guys like Jakob Poeltl, Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynk, Tre Jones, and former Wolves Jerred Vanderbilt and Keita Bates-Diop, are more athletic than the current Wolves starters? Not even close.

The Wolves aren't shooting well and are trying to figure out how to play together with the new pieces. They also lack focus and playing hard at times, (a multi year problem) which is why I like them getting punched early by these lesser teams. It takes time and they'll get it figured out, but athleticism is not even close to a top issue.
I have already said it several times, but I agree that the offensive problems are indeed problems. But...the defensive fix hasn't been what it was supposed to be. This team was "made" to be a 4th seed or better or bust. As kg21, and Jammer, have already mentioned, the Wolves are slow and can't guard the 3 well. Teams know they can drive and kick at will. Our defenders just can't seem to catch up to this.

Your Utah and SAS examples above don't disprove this because they were able to kick out to wide-open shooters. Oh...Vanderbilt is waaaaaay more athletic than any Wolf not named Ant.
 

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Last year was a really fun season. I already have a bad sense that this year is going to feel like the Twins season just did. I hope I'm wrong.

Howl Wolves!!
 

Iceland12

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The wolves threes are always forced and we have a hand in our face.

You're saying the Wolves aren't getting open 3's? They are. Problem is they're missing them.
 




GopherWeatherGuy

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Oh...Vanderbilt is waaaaaay more athletic than any Wolf not named Ant.

Lol no way. He's undersized, average athletically, and can't shoot, but has a high motor and plays extremely hard to make up for it. Every Wolves starter is more athletically gifted than him.
 

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Lol no way. He's undersized, average athletically, and can't shoot, but has a high motor and plays extremely hard to make up for it. Every Wolves starter is more athletically gifted than him.
We are talking about two different things I'm afraid.

You are going with size/talent/ability.

I'm just talking about athletic ability.
 

tmvander

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We are talking about two different things I'm afraid.

You are going with size/talent/ability.

I'm just talking about athletic ability.
What makes Vanderbilt athletic?
 

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We are talking about two different things I'm afraid.

You are going with size/talent/ability.

I'm just talking about athletic ability.

You're equating foot speed to athleticism, when there's far more to athleticism than foot speed.

Luka Doncic lacks foot speed. But he's still athletic and one of the best players in the NBA.
 



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What makes Vanderbilt athletic?
He is very quick. He can leap. He has a motor that keeps going. Those help him be a good defender.

He does not have good hands, can't shoot, etc. That is a different kind of athletic ability. None of those things hinder his ability to defend.
 

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You're equating foot speed to athleticism, when there's far more to athleticism than foot speed.

Luka Doncic lacks foot speed. But he's still athletic and one of the best players in the NBA.
The athletic deficiencies of some of the Timberwolves make them terrible defenders (Rudy is really the only exception). I don't know if I can make it any simpler to define my take that the Wolves are not an athletic team in the sense they can't stop penetration, chase the ball to the 3-point shooters, or get back on breaks. That is what is happening. If they were quicker, faster, etc.. they would be better at those things. They aren't.

Every NBA player is athletic. Some aren't when it comes to being a good defender. Towns isn't quick enough to chase smaller players. D-Lo isn't quick enough to stay in front of other pg's.

I'm going to continue to believe Barkley, Johnny Athletic and all the other people that cover the nba on this one.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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The athletic deficiencies of some of the Timberwolves make them terrible defenders (Rudy is really the only exception). I don't know if I can make it any simpler to define my take that the Wolves are not an athletic team in the sense they can't stop penetration, chase the ball to the 3-point shooters, or get back on breaks. That is what is happening. If they were quicker, faster, etc.. they would be better at those things. They aren't.

Every NBA player is athletic. Some aren't when it comes to being a good defender. Towns isn't quick enough to chase smaller players. D-Lo isn't quick enough to stay in front of other pg's.

I'm going to continue to believe Barkley, Johnny Athletic and all the other people that cover the nba on this one.

I like Barkley but he was also using the Warriors and Clippers the other night as examples of small teams who are better than the Wolves by playing small ball instead of 'twin towers', yet they are both off to worse starts than the Wolves currently.

But again you keep harping on D and how they are limited due to athleticism, yet admit shooting has been the bigger problem.

It's scheme, brains, and desire, not athleticism that is the issue on both sides of the ball.
 

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I like Barkley but he was also using the Warriors and Clippers the other night as examples of small teams who are better than the Wolves by playing small ball instead of 'twin towers', yet they are both off to worse starts than the Wolves currently.

But again you keep harping on D and how they are limited due to athleticism, yet admit shooting has been the bigger problem.

It's scheme, brains, and desire, not athleticism that is the issue on both sides of the ball.
I never admitted that shooting has been the bigger problem. I said the offense hasn't been good, but I think the shooting will get there.

I also have been clear that the lack of athletic ability on defense has been displayed. I don't think the Wolves are going to all of a sudden become the defensive team everyone was hoping for with the big trade. Unless Finch comes up with some new scheme that hides the lack of quickness...I just don't see it happening.

We look at the word "athletic" differently when it comes to this argument, so I don't see us agreeing on any of it anytime soon.
 

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Britt Robson on the start. It's a long column with the rest of it at the link.

Granted, there is room for rationalization. Six of those games were against San Antonio (three times), Oklahoma City (twice) and Utah, teams that were not expected to even make the 10-team “play-in” games in the 15-team Western Conference. Yet the Spurs are 2-1 against the Wolves and 3-1 against everyone else; OKC lost twice to Minnesota and have won three out of four otherwise; and the win over the Wolves was just one of Utah’s five victories against two losses..

My emphasis on defensive woes may seem misplaced, especially since the Wolves currently rank fifth in defensive efficiency and 22nd in offensive efficiency. Some of that has to do with the slate of opponents they have faced thus far. The Spurs are the only foe more successful on offense (11th) than defense (21st). Otherwise you have the huge offense/defense splits of the Lakers (30th/2nd), the Thunder (26th/6th) and the Jazz (18th/8th).

What stands out on offense is the shortage of firepower from beyond the three-point arc. The Wolves have dropped from first to 16th in the number of three point attempts, and from 12th (35.8%) to 26th (31.8%) in three-point accuracy compared to a year ago. The biggest factors here are the clanking of KAT, whose percentage is down from 41% to 34.1%, and the inability to replace the volume and accuracy of three-point specialist Malik Beasley. Only Prince and Naz have upped their accuracy compared to last season. Ant has declined slightly to 34.5%, while DLo and Nowell have dropped precipitously, to below 30%..

But even so, it was hard for me not to think that Finch was being a good soldier within the Wolves organization with his hyperbolic talk about how well and easily Gobert would fit in beside the remaining core on the roster.

That philosophical dissonance is now awkwardly pressing to the fore. One of the virtues of Finch with both players and the media is the clarity of what he wants and what he likes. Specially, he likes to play at a fast pace, with a scrambling defense and an offense that emphasizes rapid ball-and-player movement, often at the expense of the pick-and-roll. Gobert has traditionally played at a slower pace, and having KAT and Gobert on the floor at the same time almost mandates a slower pace than what the Wolves deployed last season. Gobert is elite at finishing on the pick-and-roll; indeed putbacks on offensive rebounds and pick-and-roll finishes have pretty much comprised his entire offensive contribution throughout his career.

Yes, rim protection has always been a huge priority for Finch, and on that count, Gobert delivers. But Finch also prioritizes pressure on the ball handler, and the departure of rugged defenders and the toggling between drop and high-wall schemes have significantly diminished this pressure, to the point where Finch is leaning more into zone and switches – things he dislikes – merely to approximate pressure and positioning, with the added disadvantage of less accountability..


Too early to “blow things up”

Those who want to abandon the Gobert/KAT experiment are both shrill and delusional. As I have said many times, the amount of salary treasure and length of timeline invested in the Gobert trade requires that every effort be exhausted discovering a way for the best defensive center and one of the two best offensive centers to coexist. This trade locks in not only the two bigs but two other young emerging talents in Ant and McDaniels for at least the next four years. We are currently eight games into the process.

That said, the Wolves are 4-4 against a weak schedule and now step way up in class, with Phoenix (again), Milwaukee, Memphis and Cleveland all on the docket over the next two weeks. Unless the Wolves dramatically improve, or otherwise figure out a way to ascend to the higher level of competition, the clamor for change will be loud.

Two possible changes come to mind, both elevating J-Mac and de-emphasizing, perhaps even scapegoating, DLo. The first is to routinize the play of a second unit that has provided the most dynamic, Finch-friendly performances of the season thus far. That would be a small ball carnival featuring Naz at center, Prince at power forward, Ant at small forward, Nowell at shooting guard, and J-Mac at point guard. Call it the “Iowa Ants” unit, given that three of its members first honed their remarkable teamwork in the Iowa G-league..


Time to demote DLo?

It would be impossible to spin DLo going to the second unit as anything other than a demotion, a move that would reverberate through the roster. DLo has been forced to contend with large personalities such as Ricky Rubio and PatBev encroaching on his point guard duties and/or his playing time the past two seasons and is understandably jealous of his standing. What’s more, he is in a contract year.

But his best recourse is better defense, better ball movement, improved accuracy and shot selection, and, above all, quicker decision-making that removes the cat-and-mouse instinct that defines his style. That’s a huge ask. Removing DLo from the starting lineup is thus fraught; one way or another, it would have a dramatic impact on the Wolves fortunes through the course of this season..


 
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TruthSeeker

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Kyrie Irving should never play an NBA game again. Is there a dumber (flat earther), more selfish, and egotistical headcase than Irving in all of sports?

If I were an owner, he'd be permanently barred from being on my team.
 

kg21

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Kyrie Irving should never play an NBA game again. Is there a dumber (flat earther), more selfish, and egotistical headcase than Irving in all of sports?

If I were an owner, he'd be permanently barred from being on my team.
Yes, Lebron James is a dumbass of epic proportions.
 



Iceland12

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"The Minnesota Timberwolves could be without one or both of Anthony Edwards and Rudy Gobert when they take on the Bucks in Milwaukee Friday night.

The Timberwolves provided an injury update ahead of the 9 p.m. game, listing both players as questionable with illness.

No further details were provided as to the nature of the illnesses, but Timberwolves insider Dane Moore notes that Gobert didn't practice on Thursday."

 

kg21

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Like a cat toying with a mouse.

At least we are athletic and can get out on those threes.

Oh, and JR Rider Junior.......can you ever play some defense. I mean, just once.

Good Night!
 

short ornery norwegian

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Wolves getting smoked again. down 17 with 8 minutes to play.

DLo with a 3-for-13 shooting performance. All 5 starters in (-) on the (+) (-) rating.
 


From the Parkinglot

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In a league where shooting the basketball is the most important part of the game the twolves simply don’t do it well enough on a night to night basis. That trade did nothing to improve their shooting.while it was supposed to make the defense better their rotational coverage on drive and kick plays is worse then ever.
Plus you’re paying Kyle Anderson all the money to do what go 1-3 from the field on a nightly basis? 9 games in this ain’t going well.
 

kg21

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DLO and McDaniels for Kyrie.

Slo Mo then starts
 


Spaulding!No!

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They could have had S Curry. That would have set us up with a good shooter
 




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