There has been a brutal and brutal loss to cover and write about over the years. It feels like we’ve made every excuse in this book, trying our best to turn things around for good, mostly thinking about the long-term gains that might arise from short-term losses.
Tonight was one of the most undeniable losses I remember.
The Memphis Grizzlies are down, both Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson, Jr., as well as Justise Winslow, Minnesota, are at full force tonight.
The Minnesota Timberwolves led by double digits in the second half of the game and mysteriously threw it away.
Players must be to blame for sure. (We̵7;ll get there.) But many coaching decisions at the end of the game raise some questions.
Minnesota Timberwolves were unable to play Juancho Hernangomez in a crucial closing time. He could kill the team for sure. He doesn’t rebound, he has returned to Minnesota pre-shooting norms and his defense is a killer. If you can’t be in front of Kyle Anderson, who is literally nicknamed “Slo Mo,” to the point where you need to give him enough space to launch the three-pointer in slow motion after that. Staring at you, you will not play 4.
Do you know who I miss? Every PF Karl-Anthony Towns has ever played without the title Juancho Hernangomez.
– Katie Davidson (@ByKatieDavidson) January 14, 2021
Moreover, sadly, Ricky Rubio was terrible during his second session in Minnesota. It is a bummer But there is no other way to put it.
Ryan Sanders might not be wrong with how bad those two played. But, of course, he was the fault of continuing to play them during the crisis.
If confidence is a prerequisite for talent, then those people can’t turn around.
– Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) January 14, 2021
Ryan’s solution is ….. get Ricky out and have Juancho over there?
What on earth is he thinking?
– Jack Borman (@ jrborman13) January 14, 2021
I just i don’t know man Brutally disappointing
For what it’s worth, Ryan’s job here isn’t easy. I think a simple way to Juancho’s point is to play Jarred Vanderbilt, but that doesn’t solve their Rubio problem. I like what Vanderbilt has done so far. But do they trust him enough to play PF in a crisis? Or do they still want to take a small step with JO 4 while Rubio plays 1? That seems like a difficult question to answer.
If you’re going to have to play two non-shooters together, I don’t see anything hurting from the Russell / Beasley / Okogie / Vando / KAT lineup right now, but again, that’s not an easy choice.
At the end of the day it’s yet another disappointing loss. I would have noticed that Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley played well, Minnesota had nothing left of the others and that was that.
The Wolves will have to rebound on Friday in the second leg of the baseball-style series with Memphis.