Thursday, 23 May 2024

Wolves Realize Progress from 1st-Round Exit Not a Given

The Minnesota Timberwolves had a successful season under coach Chris Finch, making it to the playoffs for the first time in four years. However, their first-round exit against the Memphis Grizzlies showed them that further progress is not guaranteed in the competitive NBA.

Despite pushing the Grizzlies hard and outplaying them in most games, the Timberwolves struggled in the fourth quarter and ultimately lost the series. Finch acknowledges the challenging road ahead, with tough competition from teams like the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, and Dallas Mavericks, as well as other rising teams in the Western Conference.

One positive takeaway from their playoff run is the chemistry and culture the Timberwolves have built. After enduring significant turnover over the years, the team finally has a cohesive unit that enjoys spending time together. Franchise centerpiece Karl-Anthony Towns appreciates the camaraderie among the players and even jokes about their pizza preferences.

Despite the disappointing exit, the Timberwolves remained locked in and confident during their exit interviews. Finch sees this as a sign of their belief in their abilities and their determination to improve.

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Late lapses in the game were a significant factor in the Timberwolves’ defeat. Finch points to the issue of “hero ball,” where their leading scorers try to win the game individually rather than relying on teamwork. Learning from these mistakes will be crucial moving forward.

Finch believes that the team did not fully maximize the abilities of Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D’Angelo Russell as a collective this season. The series against the Grizzlies exposed areas for growth, and Edwards plans to work on making better reads and adjusting his game accordingly.

Looking ahead, Russell’s future with the Timberwolves is uncertain as he enters the final year of his contract. His on-court chemistry with Towns has had its ups and downs, but Russell remains optimistic about their ability to work through challenges.

The departure of Gersson Rosas as president of basketball operations before the season added to the Timberwolves’ instability. Sachin Gupta has taken on the role on an interim basis, and Finch credits him for providing stability within the organization.

In addition to Edwards, Jaden McDaniels has emerged as another promising player for the Timberwolves. His performance off the bench, including a team postseason record of 24 points in Game 6, has showcased his potential as a reliable two-way forward.

Overall, the Timberwolves’ first-round exit was a reminder that progress in the NBA is not guaranteed. However, they have established a positive culture, identified areas for improvement, and remain committed to working towards future success.


Q: What was the outcome of the Timberwolves’ playoff series against the Grizzlies?

A: The Timberwolves lost the first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies in six games.

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Q: Did the Timberwolves learn any lessons from their playoff run?

A: Yes, the Timberwolves identified late lapses in their game, particularly when their leading scorers tried to win individually. They acknowledged the need for better teamwork and decision-making.

Q: What is the status of D’Angelo Russell’s future with the Timberwolves?

A: Russell has one more season on his contract, and it remains unclear if the Timberwolves will commit to him as part of their core moving forward.


The Minnesota Timberwolves experienced both success and disappointment in their recent playoff run. While they made significant progress by reaching the playoffs for the first time in four years, their first-round exit highlighted areas for improvement. Coach Chris Finch aims to maximize the collective abilities of Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D’Angelo Russell, building a cohesive and effective team. The Timberwolves recognize the need for better decision-making in crucial moments and the importance of teamwork over individual heroics. Despite uncertainties surrounding the team’s future, including Russell’s contract and the leadership position, the Timberwolves remain committed to building on their progress and achieving long-term success.