Sunday, April 21 2024

This year has been a weird year for Minnesota Timberwolves All-NBA big man Karl-Anthony Towns. Despite playing his usual minutes, Towns is averaging his fewest points and field goal attempts per game in a healthy season since his first All-Star campaign in 2017-18.

However, his head coach, Chris Finch, still has his back.

Towns Is The “Glue Guy”

On Thursday, on FanDuel TV’s show “Run It Back,” Finch had nothing but praise for his ninth-year big man.

“[Towns] in many ways, he’s kind of been the glue to all of this because it’s his willingness to sacrifice just enough – whether it be spacing, or touches, or taking on defensive assignments that he traditionally hasn’t been…and just kind of embracing all these things and learning through it.”

“And then, staying patient and aggressive when he has his opportunities. [Towns] is an extremely efficient player. So, he can still do a lot of damage with less shots. Last year, I thought he deferred too much at times while trying to make the thing work with [Rudy Gobert.] He lost his chemistry with [Anthony Edwards] when he was out those 50 games.”

“We figured that would come back naturally. We told him just don’t worry so much about [Gobert], go be more aggressive for yourself, and the [Gobert] plays will happen [in the flow of the offense]. Trust your skill. And [right now], he’s playing at a 50/40/90 clip. It’s incredible, and it just comes down to his patience, and his poise, and his willingness to let the game happen for him.”

Situation Looming Over Towns

Finch’s comments are very true. Towns has been hyper-efficient in his condensed offensive role, averaging 63.3% true shooting (84th percentile in scoring efficiency league-wide). And he’s also having the best defensive season of his career. His 0.9 Defensive Estimated Plus-Minus (DEF EPM) is a career high.

However, Minnesota and Towns are in a peculiar situation. Towns is in the final year of his current five-year deal. And while Towns has been great in his role, he’s pricey, the Timberwolves already have a lot of money on their books, and they have Naz Reid – a player who can mime Towns’ current role pretty well – already on their roster.

The Timberwolves have an interesting problem on their hands. But it is a good problem to have. In any event, it is good to see that Towns is thriving in his “glue guy” role.

Source: Basketball Insider

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