Written By Zach Bennett (ColdOmaha.com)
The Minnesota Timberwolves were defeated by the Utah Jazz 112-103 on Monday night.
Utah separated themselves during the second quarter, and would go on to secure the lead by scoring 38 points on 13-of-20 shooting in the final frame.
George Hill and Gordon Hayward led the way with 24 points apiece.
Emerging as perhaps the Wolves’ most reliable offensive player, Zach LaVine had himself another nice game, having put up 28 points to go with eight assists and eight rebounds. LaVine finished 9-of-17 from the field (2-of-6 3PT-A) and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe.
With the loss the Wolves dropped to 5-12, putting them 3.5 games back of the eighth spot in the Western Conference, granted the playoffs seem like an unattainable goal based on how the team has performed thus far.
“We’re missing something,” a befuddled Tom Thibodeau expressed during his postgame press conference. “The Jazz having 112 points, 50-percent shooting, you can’t win like that, I know that.”
The Wolves president-coach seems to have run out of answers for his team’s struggles, which he admits is concerning. “It’s very concerning from the standpoint of, you want to be making progress, that’s the important thing,” Thibodeau confessed.
“Every day, make progress. Make progress. We didn’t make progress today and that’s something that has to be corrected. It’s one thing if you do things correctly and lose on a tough shot or someone makes a great play – that can happen to you. But when you’re outrebounded, you’re fouling recklessly, you’re not protecting the basket, your weak side has no awareness… It’s not acceptable.”
“I’m sick and tired of coming in front of you and having to say the same thing. Coach is giving us great plans. We’re doing a great job three quarters and we always seem not to play four out of four quarters. We’re playing three out of four, two out of four. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to fix it. That’s up to us.”
Much like his coach, Karl-Anthony Towns is fed up with answering the same variation of questions following losses. “I’m sick and tired of coming in front of you and having to say the same thing,” Towns said.
“Coach is giving us great plans. We’re doing a great job three quarters and we always seem not to play four out of four quarters. We’re playing three out of four, two out of four. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to fix it. That’s up to us.”
“[The defense] was supposed to be the key for this team to take off, but it’s not right now,” a dejected Ricky Rubio told the media postgame, after being benched during the fourth quarter. Rubio scored 11 points and shot an efficient 4-of-5 from the field, in addition to tallying three assists, two steals and two rebounds.
“We need to work harder. We’re trying to do what we’re told. We gotta play harder.”