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HomeBasketball TodayFiery Timberwolves Defense Blitzes Rockets, Rockets Chris Finch to All-Star Weekend!

Fiery Timberwolves Defense Blitzes Rockets, Rockets Chris Finch to All-Star Weekend!

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The Minnesota Timberwolves came in with unusual importance lying on Sunday night’s game against the Houston Rockets. It’s not only a battle against a Western Conference opponent, but it was also a chance to send their head coach, Chris Finch, to the NBA All-Star weekend in Indiana. After a strong start and a slow second quarter, the Timberwolves led the Rockets by just four points going into halftime. Given Minnesota’s matching record with the Oklahoma City Thunder, a Timberwolves defeat would prevent Finch from coaching the West All-Stars.

Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards saved the day for Minnesota. Starting the third quarter shooting 6-of-6 from the field, Ant-Man went off draining threes, getting to the rim, and knocking down a couple mid-range pull-ups. He did it all leading the Timberwolves to a large lead, one they never relinquished. Minnesota continued on to blow out the Rockets with a final score of 111-90.

Chris Finch embraced by TimberwolvesChris Finch surrounded by piles of cash.

Following the win, Finch’s players were thrilled to congratulate him on the honor of coaching in the 2024 NBA All-Star Game. Players drenched him with water as he walked into the Timberwolves locker room. Cheers and applause filled the room as many players including stars Rudy Gobert, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony showed their excitement for their head coach.

This will be Finch’s first time as a head coach during NBA All-Star weekend. During media availability, Minnesota’s stars confirmed their enthusiasm for their coach amidst this big team accomplishment. Karl-Anthony Towns was sentimental on being with him at the start of Finch’s first ever head coaching gig. The Wolves big man said, “Just being able to be a player of his for his first head coaching job and now he gets to go to the All-Star game and coach, it’s a pretty huge jump from when he walked through these doors.”

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A lot has changed from when Finch became the Wolves’ head coach in February 2021. Most specifically, the Timberwolves’ culture, process and franchise direction. Simply put, the Timberwolves failed time and time again. Historically bad stretches, playoff droughts, sub-20 win seasons all marked a significant portion of the 2010’s for Timberwolves fans. However, since Finch’s arrival, all of that has changed.

Chris Finch has led the Timberwolves to 143 wins in his 262 games as head coach. That tally ranks second all-time in franchise history behind only Flip Saunders. Finch’s 2024 All-Star Game appearance coincides with the 20-year anniversary of when Saunders coached the 2004 All-Star Game, the most recent coach for the Wolves to be apart of the event.

Timberwolves defense leads the wayTimberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards saying “All-Defense” with Rudy Gobert and Jaden McDaniels beside them on the other side.

Behind Finch and the Timberwolves all season has been an upper-echelon defense. For a majority of the year, the Wolves’ defense has ranked first. Anchored by Rudy Gobert, Minnesota also has a collection of premier point of attack defenders who can make life difficult for opposing guards and wings. Jaden McDaniels specifically ranks as one of the best on-ball defenders in the entire league.

Often outmatching smaller players with his length, McDaniels really shut down Rockets guard Jalen Green on Sunday night. Green struggled mightily as he shot just 3-of-15 from the field and 0-of-5 from three. The Houston offense wasn’t much better when others were taking shots though. Fred Van Vleet shot just 4-of-11 and Dillon Brooks was held to just 2-of-7 shooting. Following an intensive film study on Saturday, Minnesota’s defense looked focused, steady and restored in Sunday’s win.

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Even Alperen Sengun, the Rockets’ offensive engine, was held in check relatively. Rudy Gobert dissuaded him from his normal aggression as the star big man finished the game with just 15 points, most of which came when Gobert was off the court for rest. Postgame, Finch called Gobert and McDaniels the “heartbeat of our defense.”

With both teams emptying the bench for the final minutes, the Rockets had mustered just 75 points vs. the Wolves usual rotation in roughly 45 minutes of game action. Minnesota’s defense shut the lights off on Houston’s offense. Clinching Finch’s All-Star bid in a monstrous defensive showing is a poetic synopsis on how this team plays the game. Led by selfless approaches, joy for one another’s accomplishments, and the best defense in the NBA.


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