Wolves are a mess

It was hard to believe that a partnership between Rudy Gobert and Karl Anthony-Towns would yield positive results. And, for now, that’s how it is. The Timberwolves do not hit the key and this is demonstrated by their record (4-4), their game and their feelings. They are ninth in the Western Conference with teams just behind that are theoretically going to go up (Mavs, Clippers and Warriors). And they don’t end up finding a solid and firm security style, especially on the defensive end, where they have lost objectively important people (Jarred Vanderbilt and Patrick Beverley at the helm) to make room for a Gobert who protects the area, but loses in a system that allows too many penetrations and too many released triples. The Wolves are also shipwrecked in attack, where there is no room for Gobert (only one field goal attempted in the defeat against the Suns) and where, in addition, Towns runs out of so much room for the area and tries too many triples (more than 6 per game with less than 35% success). In short, problems. Many problems.

The loss to the Suns is logical. The Arizona team has returned to put the direct in regular seasonbut the loss of DeAndre Ayton has not been taken advantage of by Wolves who, with Bisack Biyombo in the area, they have not been able to give Gobert balls or take advantage of their theoretical inferior superiority. In attack, the French center seems that the only thing he does is hinder and the selection at launch is very poor. At the pace of Chris Paul (15 points to reach 21,000 in his career, 8 rebounds, 12 assists and 3 steals), the Suns opened a gap on the scoreboard and managed the advantage with which they entered the fourth quarter (83-74 ), They managed to stop the attacks of the rival (which became 87-85 in less than 9 minutes) to control before his public a result that ended up being favorable and that they closed without too many problems (116-107 at the end).

The great player of the game, Chris Paul aside, was Cameron Johnson: 29 points for him, with 10 of 17 from the field and 7 of 11 from three pointers. Biyombo helped in defense in his starting role (the second consecutive of the season, coinciding with the absence of Ayton) and got 8 points, 4 rebounds and 4 blocks. Devin Booker had a discreet performance (18+7+5, but 6 of 18 shooting), Mikal Bridges had 19 points (7 of 10 shooting) and Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet contributed 8 points per head. Order, good attitude and that typical solid structure that Monty Williams’ team has shown in the regular phase in the last two seasons, but that at the moment they have not managed to move to the playoffs, an occasion in which they were shipwrecked in the 2021 Finals and, more painfully despite being much further from the ring, a few months ago against the Mavericks (4-3 in the Western semifinals with a beating received in Phoenix in the game 7).

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And in the Wolves, very little. Towns had a good statistical sheet (24 points with 9 of 18 shooting, 10 rebounds and 7 assists), Edrawds went to another 24 (with 5 of 10 triples) Naz Redi was a good boost from the bench (13, with 5 of 6 shots) and Jaylen Nowell, with 10, was the last visiting player to reach double figures in scoring. Gobert had 7 points (all personal), 9 rebounds and 3 assists. But a -14 with him on the track and, again, only one shot attempted in the entire match. And that started the game with a great stopper against Booker. A start that has contrasted with the rest of his performance and a season in which the Wolves have already been booed by their own fans and in which Gobert is at more than 14 rebounds per game (NBA leader) … but in which he is, ultimately, the same player he has always been. One with which you can not (so far) win the ring. And watch out, the Wolves’ problem isn’t him, it’s much bigger and includes Towns, his relationship with Edwards, Russell and the defense. But it’s very hard to think that his association with another tall man in the area would work.. And of course it’s not working. Let no one be surprised, please.

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