The Minnesota Timberwolves could give NBA seminars on what not to do on defense this season. Is it a flaw in how this team is designed? Is it a flaw in the personnel currently on the Timberwolves roster? Or is this simply the luck of the deal, and the fact that the Timberwolves’ injuries have made it impossible to improve anything because coaching energy has been exhausted simply preparing this swiss-cheese roster for their next game?
Perhaps it’s all of the above?
We know that the Timberwolves have struggled to defend the perimeter all season. Even through all 49 games, on January 24, 2023, the Timberwolves’ defense allows their opponents to score 37.4 percent of their three-point shots. that is better than only one NBA team. That’s a huge problem.
Pregame question: High wall pick and roll coverage tends to lead to a number of opponent 3s, what still makes it worth it to run?
Chris Finch: “Well the good thing is we give up threes in every way possible.”
— Jace frederick (@JaceFrederick) January 16, 2023
Can’t run a high wall defense with one or both bigs injured . . .
Rockets defang Timberwolves
But it’s not the only problem that this team faces. In fact, the Timberwolves showcased many of their defensive shortcomings in their fourth matchup against the Houston Rockets. The Timberwolves not only lost but did so by not playing sound defense. Worst of all, this team lost in front of one of the owners who hold a minority interest in the team, none other than Alex Rodriguez, who was courtside and watched the entire game.
In any case, the Timberwolves’ defense is not very good at times. and the problem is, that the lack of the Timberwolves’ defense seems to show up at the worst possible moments. The latest lapse happened against the Houston Rockets, a team that even the injury-depleted Timberwolves roster was able to handle rather routinely for three games this season.
The Timberwolves simply faced a more physical Rockets team. The Rockets outrebounded the Timberwolves. The Rockets scored more points in the paint than the Timberwolves. And the Rockets committed far more fouls than the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves have, once again, sunk below .500. Not because they do not want to win. They simply ran up against a Houston Rockets team that wanted to win more.