Karl-Anthony Towns: Is He Any Good?

Karl-Anthony Towns made his first All-Star Game in the third year in the league in 2017-18, but his Minnesota Timberwolves barely made the playoffs, and this year the Wolves stand at 13-15, 13th in the Western Conference standings. And granted, he’s playing alongside Andrew Wiggins, one of the worst players in the league, and the one competent star he had alongside him, Jimmy Butler, got traded to Philadelphia for a bag of peanuts. OK, so maybe Robert Covington and Dario Saric are pretty good quality peanuts, but they’re not Jimmy Butler. But Minnesota’s been down this road before. A team …

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Breakfast Special: Every Game A Finals Preview

The Toronto Raptors, every time they play a Western Conference team, get “potential Finals preview” added to it. Such is the nature of a Western Conference where it seems like every team except the Suns has looked like a title contender at least once this season. This time, it was the West-leading Denver Nuggets who came to Toronto…and became just the third team all season to beat the Raptors in Canada. Denver won 106-103 behind a huge triple-double from Nikola Jokic; he had 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 15 assists. Jamal Murray had 21 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists, …

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Breakfast Special: La Rouge for LeVert

Caris LeVert deserved better than this. The Nets’ up-and-coming star, who has been on fire this season as Brooklyn has improved—they’d make the playoffs if the season ended today, at 6-8—fell victim to a gruesome season-ending injury in the Nets’ 120-113 loss to Minnesota. As if that weren’t bad enough, it was right before halftime of a game where LeVert was possibly on his way to a triple-double; he had 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Now normally this is where I’d show what I’m talking about, but… Do not watch the Caris LeVert injury.Go out of your way …

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Breakfast Special: Derrick Rose’s Ghost Scares Utah

What strange times are these in Minnesota, where Derrick Rose can be his 2012 self for a night, possessed on Halloween by the ghost of his own talent. Because Jimmy Butler has gone AWOL for the Timberwolves, Rose ended up starting at the point, Josh Okogie‘s 10.06 PER started in Butler’s spot…and Minnesota beat Utah 128-125 behind 50 points from Rose. The game was about as typical a Tom Thibodeau coaching performance as you’ll see. The heavy-minutes rotation went seven deep, and only nine guys played even one minute of the game. Rose played 41 minutes. Karl-Anthony Towns, who had …

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Are the 2018-19 Minnesota Timberwolves Good?

I have no idea and neither do you. Next! But seriously, folks, writing about the Timberwolves and trying to forecast how they’ll be in April is like looking outside the window and trying to figure out what the weather’s going to do on a specific day next April (well, OK, I’m based in Seattle. It’s going to rain.) Where are they going to trade Jimmy Butler? Are they going to get value back or will it be a fire sale? Will Tom Thibodeau insist on playing Andrew Wiggins despite Wiggins being one of the worst players in the league? Will …

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Tom Thibodeau is a terrible coach and Minnesota should fire him

So a lot of trade rumors involving Karl-Anthony Towns have been floating around the land of the #AllEyesNorth hashtag on Twitter, and this got me thinking about the bigger problems with the franchise. So I went to Basketball Reference looking for answers, and..well… 30th in three-point attempts per game AND in three-point attempt rate (percentage of overall shot attempts which are threes.) Fourth in offensive rebound percentage but 24th in defensive rebound percentage. My gods. Tom Thibodeau has Scott-Hollins Syndrome. Worse still, a coach who built a reputation as a defensive “mastermind” has consistently presided over one of the worst …

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2018 NBA Playoff Tiebreak Scenarios: Last Day of the Season!

Wednesday night, the NBA tips off a slate of games to close out the regular season. The playoffs are finally upon us. And the standings, especially in the Western Conference? They’re still a hot mess, with every slot from 3 through 9 up for grabs. Only the Rockets and Warriors are locked into their seed; everyone else is fighting for position. Meanwhile, things are a bit quieter in the East, where the Raptors (1), Celtics (2), and Pacers (5) are locked into their seeds, while Philly and Cleveland are fighting for 3 and 4 and the Wizards, Heat, and Bucks …

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Sorting Out 2018 NBA West Playoffs Tiebreakers, Part 2

We’ve got one major set of playoff scenarios left in the Western Conference. Part 1 of the West covered the current 3 through 8 seeds, but we’re going to keep things simple in the second part. Why? Well, besides the fact that we covered just about every plausible scenario involving the Thunder, Pelicans, Spurs, Timberwolves, and Jazz in one go? If we add in the Clippers and/or Nuggets, all the who-beats-whom just basically reverts back to stuff we’ve already covered. So with that in mind, we’re going to restrict this to… WEST 7 Through 10 (Minnesota, Utah, LA Clippers, and …

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Sorting Out 2018 NBA West Playoffs Tiebreakers, Part 1

Welcome back to our efforts to sort out the giant NBA car crash that is the playoff race and all the potential tiebreakers. I’m trying to make this as complete as possible while also making it plausible. Sadly, when Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and the Trail Blazers lost to the Grizzlies on Wednesday, what was already a mess with seven teams all alive to go anywhere from fourth through tenth just became six teams within four games of each other from three through eight. The East at least had two distinct groups around a common linchpin—the Cavs-Sixers-Pacers 3-4-5 race and …

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Andrew Wiggins Is Killing the Timberwolves

Andrew Wiggins is reportedly angry about his role in Minnesota’s offense, playing third fiddle behind Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler in Tom Thibodeau’s surprisingly successful (40-29 and the six seed in the West through games of March 13) scheme. According to Darren Wolfson of KSTP, Wiggins has been whispering to teammates, a carcinoma in situ for the Wolves’ clubhouse that could metastasize into a full-blown clubhouse cancer if something is not done. So something should be done. Surgery. The Minnesota Timberwolves need to trade or release Andrew Wiggins, because he sucks. Earlier this season, we examined just how bad Wiggins …

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