Jace Frederick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Karl-Anthony Towns who will take the court for the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte on Sunday, Feb. 17, is a far different player from the one who made his first All-Star Game appearance in Los Angeles last season. He’s not the same guy he was when he entered the league, nor the player who averaged a career-best 25 points a game in his second campaign or even the center who started this season for Minnesota.
MINNEAPOLIS — Josh Okogie lit up social media on Wednesday night, Feb. 13, with the block heard ’round the basketball world. Houston Rockets’ guard James Harden — the front-runner to win his second straight League MVP award this season — has killed all opponents with his patented step-back 3-point jumper all season. That move has played a major role in Harden’s streak of 31 consecutive games with 30-plus points. It was largely assumed to be unstoppable. Until Okogie proved otherwise.
MINNEAPOLIS -- When you’re an NBA head coach, there are hard conversations to be had throughout the season. Usually, telling a player you no longer want to start him is one of them. That was the position Ryan Saunders found himself in this week. Taj Gibson had done nothing wrong, but Minnesota was struggling and needed a change -- and reserve forward Dario Saric was one of the team’s few recent bright spots. Saunders wanted to insert Saric into the starting lineup beginning in Monday’s game against the Clippers, and move Gibson back to the bench.
MINNEAPOLIS -- These days, Robert Covington is simply getting in some shooting with his teammates. But even that feels good after more than a month away from the court. Sidelined since the end of 2018 with a bone bruise on his right knee, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ defensive stopper is slowly trying to work his way back into form.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The light appears to quickly be approaching at the end of the injury tunnel for Tyus Jones. The point guard admitted it has been frustrating dealing with a sprained left ankle suffered nearly a month ago in Philadelphia. Finally, his return is nearing. Jones participated in practice Sunday, Feb. 10, though he didn’t partake in the contact portion.
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore will sit out the 2019 season, the eight-year WNBA veteran announced Tuesday. Moore, in an article published Tuesday on the Players' Tribune, said, "My focus in 2019 will not be on professional basketball, but will instead be on the people in my family, as well as on investing my time in some ministry dreams that have been stirring in my heart for many years."
MINNEAPOLIS -- At some point this season, it has to be “now or never” for the Timberwolves. It’s possible that time finally has arrived. Minnesota is currently three games back of the eighth-place Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference playoff race, which might not seem like much, but to earn a playoff spot, the Wolves likely would have to also jump the Sacramento Kings and LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers. That’s a lot to accomplish in just 30 games, and likely will require a long winning streak or two to get it done.
MINNEAPOLIS -- By the time Andrew Wiggins noticed his man running up the floor ahead of him, it was too late. Denver was up one with a minute to play, inbounding under its own hoop after a Karl-Anthony Towns turnover. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic grabbed the dead ball and looked up court. He quickly spotted Malik Beasley, the one player who was bothering to run down the court.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Thursday’s NBA trade deadline is fast approaching, and it appears the Timberwolves are most likely to do … nothing. That will frustrate some fans. Minnesota entered Saturday, Feb. 2, with just a 23 percent chance of making the Western Conference playoffs, according to the stats-driven site FiveThirtyEight. Sure, it might make more sense to ship off expiring contracts.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Karl-Anthony Towns’ second all-star nod meant a little more than the first. That much was obvious to those who saw the video of Towns as he found out he’d been selected to his second NBA All-Star Game in as many seasons. He dropped his phone and started to cry as his parents rushed to his side to congratulate him. It was a little surprising to see Towns flash so much emotion, but that moment was a release for the Timberwolves’ franchise cornerstone.