In many ways, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ season has already been a disappointment due to all of the capital they have invested into taking a step forward in the Western Conference. A 42-40 record, lingering injury problems and a best case scenario of obtaining the No. 8 seed objectively means they have actually taken a step back. However, the negativity surrounding this franchise will be catastrophic if they cannot win their next game.
In order to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder and advance through the NBA Play-In Tournament Friday night, the team will need their star players to be healthy. Unfortunately, Karl-Anthony Towns (right calf strain) joined Rudy Gobert (back spasms) on the injury report, per Timberwolves PR. They are both listed questionable.
Minnesota @Timberwolves Status Report in advance of tomorrow’s game vs. Oklahoma City Thunder:
Gobert – Back Spasms
Nowell – Left Knee Tendinopathy
Towns – Right Calf Strain
McDaniels – Right Hand Fracture
Reid – Left Scaphoid Fracture
— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) April 13, 2023
There should be no reason to panic about Towns’ status given that he was also questionable Tuesday night versus the Los Angeles Lakers. He had a dominant first half before finding himself in some foul trouble later in the game. He will again need to post big numbers if Minnesota is going to survive a hungry Thunder squad who are farther along than most fans predicted going into this season.
As for Gobert, there is more cause for concern. The controversial center, who was suspended for the Lakers loss after striking teammate Kyle Anderson last Sunday, said his back issues would have kept him out of action even if he wasn’t reprimanded. Recovering from his physical ailment and fully repairing the damage from his and Anderson’s altercation are each taxing tasks and cannot easily be multi-tasked.
The Timberwolves gave up several first-round picks for Gobert last July- one of which has already turned into rookie blocking machine Walker Kessler. If he is not playing or impacting the game in a significant manner, fans will have another disappointment to add to a season that is quickly becoming full of them.
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