Timberwolves stink it up against Spurs

The Timberwolves' honeymoon couldn't be shorter, with the wedding taking place at midnight in Vegas at a drive-thru chapel with a pastor wearing an Elvis costume.

Timberwolves stink it up against Spurs

In the second quarter of the Wolves' fourth game of the season, his fans made fun of him. In the third quarter, they pushed up the volume on Xerox to 11.

On Monday night at Target Center, the Wolves lost 115-106 to San Antonio in a game that saw the Spurs lead by 35 points.

Wolves have many new players, but this loss was reconciled, and everything had to do with effort and basketball sense.

Wolves coach Chris Finch didn't hide his displeasure at his players' efforts or decisions. "They got us out in every way possible," Finch said. "They outnumbered us, outnumbered us, outnumbered us in every way. It was ugly and unacceptable."

Getting back on defense doesn't require years of experience playing together. Neither getting into the flow of the offense, nor making basic basketball decisions.

Early in the third quarter, Karl-Anthony Towns caught a defensive rebound and fired a hard pass towards Rudy Gobert, who was running near midcourt.

It's the kind of pass you teach second graders to never make. Gobert could not handle the pass, but even if he did catch it, he might have tripped or thrown it in an attempt not to travel.

Wolves have played four games. They are 2-2. Both wins are on an Oklahoma City team that lost 58 games last year, landed the second pick in the draft, took on Chet Holmgren, a Minnesota native, then lost to Holmgren for the season. A win against the Thunder is to be expected.

In two home games against well-trained but less-talented teams that share the ball and play defense - Utah and San Antonio - the Wolves are 0-2.

Their offense is often as sinister as a 1970 AMC Gremlin's no-oil gearbox. Their defense, especially their infection defense, is very poor.

Offensive mistakes are numerous. Sometimes they are very selfless, sometimes they are very selfish. Sometimes, usually in the mid-quarters, the offense turns back to the hero's ball, meaning players take it upon themselves to take quick shots or drive into the teeth of the defense instead of making an offensive flow.

What has been more sore against teams not from Oklahoma is defensive intensity, measured in their inability or unwillingness to get back on defense.

On Monday, the Spurs consistently brought Wolves down the court for an easy basket.

Wolves trailed 67-57 at halftime. The second number was not scary. The number one was

In the first half, Wolves lost 40 points in the paint and were out 15-2 at a sharp break.

After citing his team's defensive woes, Finch said, "There was no desire to share the ball tonight. And that was a big move.

You might assume that the legendary Spurs coach, Greg Popovich, spent hours cracking down on the Wolves game movie to come up with a plan to expose his weaknesses.

you will be wrong

Asked before the game what he found out about the Wolves, Popovich said, essentially, he didn't particularly care what the Wolves did as planned, because most NBA teams do the same thing.

He said the sport is about competition and talent, that all teams run the pick and roll, "try to get back on defense and get good shots. The principles are the same."

No matter how complex the plans, basketball is a simple game, and the simplest and sometimes most important task is to try on the defense.

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