MILWAUKEE – To say that this was a whole week for the Minnesota Timberwolves would be an understatement. The Jimmy Butler saga adopted a young, quiet team and aired a lot of their dirty clothes so the whole nation could smell.
And that was before Friday night, when the Wolves lost in their preseason final in Milwaukee 143-121, a shellac that brought an even worse stench into the regular season.
Kevin Garnett told The Athletic he hopes the Timberwolves can "come through this difficult situation and everyone can come the same way [page] and find out ", but sees Errors in Angry Star Jimmy Butler's approach in calling for a trade.
The Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo's triple-double in just 25 minutes of work, collected 25 3-pointers at night and 84 points at halftime. With the poor defensive tour, Minnesota ended its preseason by ending last in defensive efficiency, handing 112.8 points per 100 possessions, 3.5 points worse than the pelicans of New Orleans.
"We do not have time to be here and say: 'Aw, it's okay, it's preseason. & # 39; This momentum we're driving right now, this wave we're driving on is not good not good at all, "said Wolves Center Karl-Anthony Towns, who scored 2 of 9 for eight points.
The cities said the kind of loss bothered him the most.
"I really do not know," he said, when asked why the club had failed to drive solid 48-minute routes this preseason. "But if you find out, let me know, you can be beaten, everyone in this league – I do not care if you're the Golden State Warriors, my rookie year, the 95-96 Bulls – you'll lose some games, but you can not be ashamed, that's just unacceptable. "
While coach Tom Thibodeau downplayed the absence of Butler, who stayed behind for the training work in Minneapolis for the trip, the team (1-4 in the preseason) failed in his absence this month. Some players looked out of sync on Friday, especially in the offensive, with Towns getting off the team in early foul trouble and Andrew Wiggins while awaiting his first child. Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose were perhaps too aggressive, finishing a combined 9-of-30 and recording a combined minus 52 in the game.
Thibodeau and the players alike are struggling on the need for consistent efforts, regardless of the cloud that hovers over the team, as the situation Butler finds out.
"Jimmy has nothing to do with how hard we play outside, he'll decide soon or they'll decide soon," Rose said. "It's our job to go out there and make sure there's pressure and intensity throughout the game."
This intensity was sometimes lacking as Antetokounmpo maneuvered seemingly randomly into the alley and into the basket. The all-star striker scored corner-shot shooters – a key principle in Mike Budenholzer's attack – repeatedly shooting open when Minnesota did not slow him down.
"I have nothing but love for [Antetokounmpo] and his talent, but we let him carve us too much, "said Towns.
And while the Timber Wolves have a lot on their plate, from asking how to deal with Butler's trading request to the gaping holes in their defense, they do not have much time to come together to come to the same page.