It’s one thing to lose because you can’t match your opponent’s talent level – and that was again for Minnesota Friday.
But when you combine that with the sad effort the Timberwolves put into the Target Center, it equates to a beatdown like the one the Hawks put in.
The Atlanta star players spent the evening putting together impressive statistics. Trae Young finished with 43 points on 14 for 22 shots while making eight triples. Clint Capela scored a triple double with 13 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. After reaching block 10 in the fourth quarter, Capela left the game. Many of the rest of the Hawks’ starters soon followed. Your job was done for the night.
It was a similar script to other games after Karl-Anthony Towns lost two games this season to a dislocated wrist when the wolves were blasted off the ground every night.
With Towns now on the move with COVID-19, the results are largely the same. Minnesota had dealt with Atlanta four days earlier, but the Hawks have since got a lot of their rotation players back and played at levels significantly higher than anything Minnesota could muster.
Ricky Rubio only played 15 minutes on his return from a seven-day absence from health and safety logs. D’Angelo Russell went just 2 for 9 in 21 minutes. Anthony Edwards missed his first nine shots.
After the first quarter, Minnesota had only scored two of its first 13 hits, opening the second quarter as Atlanta expanded its lead to double-digit numbers. The Hawks had gotten up by halfway through 7pm and by then it was clear it was over.
Minnesota shot just 39 percent in the first three quarters. Without Towns and Juancho Hernangomez, there is a lack of offensive punch to keep up with opponents and defensive discipline to win a brawl.
In the absence of cities, no one – through leadership or production – has increased and losses have accumulated. Minnesota is now 2-2 with his big all-star man and 9-1 without him.
So the wolves will probably just play the string until Towns returns. Then they hope to be able to play basketball again.
On the subject of matching items
Ricky Rubio returns to the lineup of wolves
Jace Frederick: Ryan Saunders made mistakes, but he’s also doomed
D’Angelo Russell says there’s only so much he can do for Timberwolves. But can he do a little more?
Timberwolves give up a big lead, lose against Magic on the summer
According to Analytics, Wolfs newcomer Anthony Edwards doesn’t get any nasty calls