The Minnesota Timberwolves are close but have some huge obstacles standing in their way like their fourth quarter defensive play.
Tom Thibodeau has to be going into his office after games and just pounding his head against the wall. Thibodeau is a good coach and, allegedly, a good defensive coach but that just isn’t coming to fruition for the Minnesota Timberwolves. It is eventually going to cost the Wolves.
The Orlando Magic are not exactly a stellar squad. At the very least, it is a team that the Timberwolves should not lose to. The game should’ve never been in question but defense let the Magic be in the game on both ends of the contest.
A lack of defense allowed the Magic to score 35 points in the first quarter. The lack of defense also allowed the Magic to cut into a 26-point lead that Wolves had at the end of three quarters to only lose by six points. Yes, you read that right.
In the final frame, Orlando outscored the Wolves 38-18. The defense is not usually good, but when it really implodes it most of the time takes the offensive production with it. That was the case in the fourth quarter and it has been that way many times this season.
The lack of fourth quarter defense is the reason that the Timberwolves blew a late lead to the Phoenix Suns a couple weeks ago. While they didn’t completely blow the lead on Wednesday, the Wolves have made a majority of their games a lot tougher by letting their opponent back into the game in the final minutes just like it.
It is incredibly frustrating to watch. Karl-Anthony Towns was two points away from having all five Timberwolves starters scoring 20 or more points and the Timberwolves needed almost every last second to defeat the Magic. It is simply ridiculous.
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It was at one time thought the Timberwolves could simply just outscore about every team in the NBA and pull out a victory, but we are learning that that concept isn’t going to work. The starting lineup scored over 100 points and they almost blew the game to a non-playoff team. They blew a game against Phoenix in similar fashion and they will do it again.
The Timberwolves need to find it in their heart to play defense. It almost has to be their desire to play defense because the likes of Towns and Andrew Wiggins surely have the physical skills to, at the very least, be adequate defenders. If they don’t figure out how to play defense, this team will never reach their full potential.
Minnesota will try to find their defense on Friday when they are back in action at Target Center. The Wolves will be taking on the Miami Heat with tip set for 7:00.