The Minnesota Timberwolves incurred another bad beat after losing their best player, Karl-Anthony Towns, for two weeks with a wrist fracture injury. It’s been a long year in Minnesota, and their outlook just got grimmer.
There’s no specific time on how long Towns will be out, but his left wrist will be re-evaluated in two weeks to see if he can practice with the injury. On social media, fans lamented at another squandered season. Many of them wisely suggested that the Timberwolves shut down Towns for the remainder of the season to allow his injury to fully heal.
Before the injury, Towns led the Timberwolves with a career-high 26.5 points. He also added 10.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. In his first four seasons in the NBA with the Timberwolves, Towns averaged 22.3 points.
Towns only appeared in 35 games with the Timberwolves this season. He nursed a knee injury for nearly a month around the holidays before he returned to action in mid-January. Towns returned for only 12 games before he went down with another injury.
With Towns down, the Timberwolves will rely on newly-acquired guards, D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley.
Head coach Ryan Saunders hopes his new guys can hold the line until Towns returns. Russell averaged 22 points per game in the three games in which he suited up with the Timberwolves after being exiled to Minnesota by the Golden State Warriors.
Since arriving via a trade from the Denver Nuggets, Beasley averaged 23 points per game. He was buried deep on the Nugs bench, playing with their second unit. Now, Beasley has a chance to start.
Minnesota’s Winter of Discontent
The Timberwolves (16-38) are the second-worst team in the Western Conference. With 16 wins, only the Cleveland Cavs (15-41) and the Warriors (12-44) have fewer.
Ever since Minnesota shipped out Jimmy Butler last season, they’ve struggled on the defensive end. They have the fourth-worst defense in the NBA, allowing 116.1 points per game.
The Timberwolves jumped out to a hot 4-1 start before the rest of the NBA caught up. At the end of the season’s first month, the Timberwolves were 10-8 and playing way above preseason expectations. As the saying goes, it’s been all downhill from there.
The Timberwolves lost 11 games to start December. If it weren’t for a Christmas miracle, their skid would have been longer. After a 10-8 November, the Timberwolves were 2-12 in December.
Things didn’t improve in January even though Towns returned from a knee injury. The Timberwolves posted another double-digit losing streak, dropping 13 games in a row during a losing skid that headed into February.
The Timberwolves shocked the betting world when they upset the LA Clippers 142-115 to end their losing streak. Of course, the Timberwolves didn’t waste any time resuming their losing ways. They’re currently bogged down in a three-game skid.
Counting both double-digit losing streaks, the Timberwolves went 5-27 during that stretch of sheer ugliness.
KAT Down: Karl-Anthony Towns Injured Again
The Timberwolves selected Towns, a 6-foot-11 center, with the #1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Towns grew up in New Jersey and played a one-and-done season with Kentucky. His mother is from the Dominican Republic, so he was eligible to play for their national team in international events.
Before the NBA trade deadline, the Timberwolves finally pulled the trigger on a deal with the Golden State Warriors to swap guards. The Timberwolves traded Andrew Wiggins (who averaged 19.7 ppg in 5.5 seasons in Minnesota) to the Warriors for the 420-friendly D’Angelo Russell. This season, Russell averages 23.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.7 rebounds.
Over his career, Russell averaged 17.5 ppg with three different teams (Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, and Golden State Warriors).
The LA Lakers selected Russell, a 6-foot-4 guard, with the #2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Russell, who played his collegiate ball at Ohio State, went directly after Towns.