Sportress of Blogitude

Karl-Anthony Towns: Timberwolves have ‘a lot of things to work on’

The Minnesota Timberwolves were expected to improve dramatically this season and things have not gone as expected. Karl-Anthony Towns believes while the Wolves made some positive strides in 2016-17, the team nevertheless has “a lot of things to work on” going forward.

“I think there’s been progress most definitely, but it’s upsetting that we have to come down the stretch at the end of our season with losses like this,” Towns said following Tuesday’s 100-98 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. “I think we’ve worked tremendously hard to improve our team, and right now we’re just not showing it. We’ve got things we’ve got to work on so next year we’re ready.”

The Wovles (31-50), losers of 12 of their past 15 games, saw the slide follow an encouraging 17-12 midseason run that got them within sniffing distance of the Western Conference playoff chase.

The Timberwolves, with a talented-but-young nucleus spearheaded by Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, were expected to improve dramatically this season under head coach Tom Thibodeau. One of the worse defensive teams in the NBA for some time, the belief was the Wolves would demonstrate a commitment to playing well on that end of the court due to Thibodeau’s expertise and demands.

Another issue plaguing the Timberwolves is their alarming inability to hold onto leads. Allen Horton, radio voice for the Wolves, laid out the damning statistics via Twitter last week.

The Wolves, as noted by ESPN, have a solid scoring differential of minus-1.1 points per game, far and away the best among the NBA’s bottom-10 teams, perhaps an encouraging sign of things to come.

“It’s a learning experience,” Towns said. “We’ve got to learn. We’ve got a lot of things to work on. The good thing is we know what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to fix, and come back next season stronger, better, a lot smarter also and more experienced.”

The Timberwolves are far too talented to continue to wallow in mediocrity or worse. Perhaps another offseason under Thibs’ guidance and the maturation of its young core will lead to bigger and better things, sooner rather than later.