Karl-Anthony Towns, who was almost critically injured in an auto accident last week, went off last night, putting up 23 points and eight rebounds in the first quarter alone, finishing with 42 points and 17 rebounds for the night. Yet the Timberwolves lost, 122-115, to the Oladipo-less but surging Pacers, who have won nine of 12 games.
The Timberwolves, after a decade-and-a-half out of the playoffs, are again in no-man’s land, in 11th place in the West with a 29-33 record -- too dysfunctional for the playoffs and too talented to tank.
From a young team with a high ceiling three years ago to a mediocre roster with Andrew Wiggins on a max-contract, Minnesota has settled into its rightful spot as an aggressively average team.
Via Basketball Reference:
PTS/G: 112.4 (12th of 30) Opp PTS/G: 112.4 (20th of 30) SRS: 0.13 (15th of 30) Pace: 100.1 (15th of 30) Off Rtg: 111.6 (11th of 30) Def Rtg: 111.6 (20th of 30)
Expected W-L: 31-31 (15th of 30)
Average does you no good but, outside of Karl-Anthony Towns, tanking hasn’t worked either. And Kevin Garnett isn’t walking through that door. And, if all that wasn’t enough, after making the playoffs for the first time since 2003-04 last season, the Wolves have just a five percent chance of doing the same this year, according to FiveThirtyEight.
If only they played in the East. Then they’d be happy.
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