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Fixing the Timberwolves’ Fatal Flaw: A Must-Do After the 2024 NBA All-Star Break


While the Timberwolves have been impressed, Minnesota still has one fatal flaw to fix before the playoffs.

After suffering a first round exit in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, it was evident that the Minnesota Timberwolves were on an uproar and primed to be one of the top seeds in the Western Conference. The hype has come to fruition during the 2023-24 campaign as the Timberwolves are legitimately competing to clinch the No. 1 seed in the conference.

Anthony Edwards has elevated himself as a true No. 1 option for a championship contending squad as Karl Anthony-Towns has been very selfless in relinquishing that role. Towns, Rudy Gobert, and Mike Conley have been the perfect complementary pieces as head coach Chris Finch leads the charge from the bench.

While the Timberwolves reached the postseason, inexperience is an obvious issue heading into the playoffs. This squad has yet to advance past the first round.

There’s nothing they can do to address that problem aside from getting the necessary repetitions. However, there is one fatal flaw Minnesota fans know by heart that can be rectified in the last couple of months of the regular season.

Keep the emotions in check

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch directs his team as they play the Memphis Grizzlies in the third quarter at Target Center.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Since the Timberwolves are a young and passionate bunch, it is easy to be carried away by emotions when the contest is intense. For instance, Towns was ineffective in numerous playoff games the past two years because he was getting irritated with the officials or getting annoyed with the point black shots he was bricking. The determination and perseverance of someone like Towns is admired, but he must create a boundary of remaining cool and collected at the most critical times.

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When Towns is fully engaged on both ends of the court, there is no one that can contain him in the association. The way he was reacting when he got benched by Finch in his 62-point outing against the Charlotte Hornets was a tough sight to see for the Timberwolves fans. With still a little over two months before the postseason, he is fully capable of getting ready for the physicality and intensity of the postseason.

Jaden McDaniels is another individual who needs to control his feelings as he broke his hand in the last game of the regular season last year. He could have been a fantastic option to defend either Jamal Murray or Michael Porter Jr. in the playoffs, but the lack of perimeter defenders turned out to be a disaster for Minnesota.

For McDaniels, he also needs to remain locked in to the game even if his jump shots are not falling because the Timberwolves need him to be superb on the defensive side every night.

The main rationale on why emotions are the pressing issue in Minnesota is because when they are rattled and intimated already, that is when isolation ball starts being the priority and blown leads are happening more often. In the 2022 playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Timberwolves had the upper hand for a multitude of nights. But they were not able to sustain it because Memphis was the more composed bunch.

Thus, it is vital to have Conley healthy and 100% for the postseason run because he is their leader on and off the court. When he misses a game against a solid contender, the winning percentage of the Timberwolves plummets because there is no one to settle them when the plays are in disarray.

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The Timberwolves have one of the brightest futures in the NBA, and that will be even more magnified when they are used to the bright lights already.

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About the Author

Diego Vergel de Dios is an experienced NBA editorial writer at ClutchPoints.


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