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HomeBasketball TodayRudy Gobert of the Timberwolves delivers hard-hitting truth bomb after loss to...

Rudy Gobert of the Timberwolves delivers hard-hitting truth bomb after loss to Bucks

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Rudy Gobert dropped a truth bomb for the Timberwolves after their tough loss to the Bucks.

Friday night was a late tip-off for the Minnesota Timberwolves, as they had a border battle with the Milwaukee Bucks broadcast on national television. Fans were treated to an epic battle between two of the league’s top teams, as the top defense in the NBA had a tough task in containing both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard. The first half was an excellent showing from the Timberwolves, though, as they took a 57-51 lead into the intermission.

The third quarter reared its ugly head, though, as Minnesota became lethargic. Milwaukee completely dominated coming out of halftime and turned a six-point deficit into a 17-point lead. In the third, the Timberwolves’ offense crumbled with the absence of movement, as both player and ball movement stagnated, which led to the Wolves settling for difficult shots and committing some untimely turnovers.

The Timberwolves mustered just 13 third-quarter points, and the Bucks capitalized by rattling off 36 points of their own in those 12 minutes. Minnesota climbed back in the fourth quarter due to some timely shotmaking, but they still fell short 112-107. Another bad offensive quarter overcame a solid defensive showing, and after the game, Rudy Gobert dropped a truth bomb on the Timberwolves lackluster offense showing.

Rudy Gobert keeps it honest

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) works around Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) during the second half at Target Center.
Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

During his postgame media availability, Gobert expressed some of his frustration over the Timberwolves poor offensive performance. Gobert called their offensive attack in the third quarter “sloppy” and pointed to flaws that have started to become a bit of a trend.

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“I think it’s the same things we’ve been getting better at,” Gobert said, “but obviously we’re not perfect at it”. To the Timberwolves’ credit, prior to the All-Star break, they were doing a much better job at limiting turnovers. On Friday night, Minnesota committed 13 team turnovers compared to just ten turnovers for Milwaukee. On the night, the Wolves also shot just 43.9 percent from the field.

Rudy Gobert pointed to a few flaws that have led into bad stretches that snowball into disastrous quarters. The first component he pointed to was the Wolves’ players allowing a poor decision or tough stretch to bleed into future plays stating, “I thought we were a little slow to get to the next play. We’re getting a little too affected by our mistakes.” This is a great observation that tied perfectly into Friday night’s loss.

The Wolves’ worst offensive quarter also turned into their worst defensive quarter. Malik Beasley was the benefactor on Friday night, as the sharpshooter caught a rhythm in the third quarter due to poor transition defense. With Minnesota being a step slow following misses, the Bucks took advantage of their clean looks with made baskets.

Should the Timberwolves run more set plays?

Gobert’s biggest frustration comes when their defense is affected by poor offensive stretches due to bogged down play. “When things get rough, we don’t really run any actions during that stretch and then it affects our defense,” said the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Postgame, ClutchPoints asked Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch about the need to run more set plays when Minnesota’s offense falls into a slump. Finch dismissed the idea and referenced past teams he has coached that were less reliant on set plays.

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While that’s definitely the truth — think back to the 2021 team that made the postseason — the best offenses around Gobert have typically been built through heavy structure. Minnesota’s halfcourt set plays are very good, as they have a variety of different options to generate clean shots, which gives the team several ways to break these offensive lulls.

However, they’ve been reluctant to do so throughout the season. With resistance to the idea of being reliant on set plays, the Timberwolves offense will likely continue to sputter and go through lulls where they fail to create good looks.

Sheldon Wohlman_headshot

About the Author

Sheldon Wohlman is in his first season as a reporter covering the Minnesota Timberwolves for ClutchPoints. Sheldon eats, sleeps and breathes basketball as he coaches, enjoys playing basketball and covers the NBA on YouTube and Twitter.

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