Jace Frederick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Jimmy Butler stepped in front of the media on Tuesday, April 3, and went to bat for his coach. Tom Thibodeau has taken as much heat as any player for the Timberwolves' inability to defend in his two seasons at the helm. Defense has been the coach's calling card, yet Minnesota hasn't seen much improvement on that end of the floor during his tenure.
MINNEAPOLIS — At first glance, the Timberwolves' playoff hopes appear to be in dire straits. Minnesota is struggling to beat bad teams, just suffered one of its biggest blowout losses of the season against the Jazz on Sunday, April 1, and faces a sea of uncertainty on the injury report with unknown return dates for injured starters Jeff Teague and Jimmy Butler.
MINNEAPOLIS — Andrew Wiggins suspects even Tom Thibodeau wanted Karl-Anthony Towns to continue to rack up points in Minnesota's 126-114 win over Atlanta on Wednesday, March 28. Thibodeau, Wiggins said, kept calling plays that ran in Towns' direction. The end result was a franchise-record 56 points for the third-year center. "He was scoring every time," Wiggins said. "Score, foul or assist. One or the other."
MINNEAPOLIS—The Timberwolves have weathered what appeared to be a nasty storm. Facing a stretch of eight straight games against eight playoff contenders without their best player was a daunting task, yet Minnesota came out on the other side with three wins. It maintained its solid playoff positioning with an easier schedule ahead and may be better for the struggles it just survived. Things looked bleak when Minnesota lost three straight games for the first time this year. That's when the Wolves' playoff possibilities truly came into question for the first time.
MINNEAPOLIS — Jamal Crawford turns 38 years old on Tuesday, March 20, but don't expect him to go over the top with his birthday celebration. Aging isn't really Crawford's thing. The veteran Timberwolves guard has laughed in the face of Father Time for years. Just on Sunday, two days before a birthday few NBA players see during their professional careers, Crawford scored 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting while serving as one of the best players on the floor.
MINNEAPOLIS—Jimmy Butler will return to action "sooner rather than later," the Minnesota Timberwolves' All-NBA guard said Sunday, March 18. Butler, who has been out since suffering a torn meniscus against the Houston Rockets on Feb. 23, said he's "on the right track" with his recovery and expects to be back before a potential Timberwolves playoff run, though he didn't want to set a return date.
MINNEAPOLIS—There were times in the Minnesota Timberwolves' much-needed-109-103 victory over Golden State on Sunday, March 11, when it appeared as though the flip had switched for Andrew Wiggins. He challenged the Warriors' defense by getting into the paint and creating easy looks for himself. The result: 23 points on 9-for-16 shooting. It was the first time in awhile that Wiggins looked like the dangerous offensive weapon everyone knows he can be. And his approach seemed to have everything to do with it.
MINNEAPOLIS — Count Jeff Teague as a fan of Minnesota's signing of Derrick Rose. Teague doesn't seem to see Rose as point guard competition, but an asset to make his life easier. Teague said Rose is a "dynamic" player who can get to the lane and make plays. "Another guy who can create shots for others," Teague said. "(That's) something that we really don't do. We kind of take tough shots, so he can create more shot opportunities for other guys."
MINNEAPOLIS—Signing Derrick Rose was never going to be a popular decision. But Tom Thibodeau, the Timberwolves coach and president of basketball operations, pulled the trigger anyway. On Thursday morning, Minnesota announced the signing of Rose, who will be with the team for the rest of the season. "We just thought he could help the team," Thibodeau said. "That's what our expectations are. Come in, be a good teammate and try to help us win." The move sparked a swarm of negative reactions on social media.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Signing Derrick Rose was never going to be a popular decision. But Tom Thibodeau, the Minnesota Timberwolves coach and president of basketball operations, pulled the trigger anyway. On Thursday morning, Minnesota announced the signing of Rose, who will be with the team through the remainder of the season.