The Timberwolves wrapped up the preseason in embarrassing fashion Friday night, getting smoked by the Milwaukee Bucks 143-121.
It really was as bad as social media made it seem. The Bucks scored 84 points in the first half, Giannis Antetokounmpo had a triple-double in just 25 minutes and Milwaukee hit a mind-boggling 25 3-pointers against a Minnesota defense that finished dead last in defensive efficiency during the preseason by allowing 112.8 points per 100 possessions.
Sure, Andrew Wiggins was gone for the birth of his child and Jimmy Butler wasn't there because, well, he's in the middle of a highly publicized trade demand that's made what was already a historically mediocre franchise even more of a laughing stock in the NBA.
"We don't got no more time to be here saying, 'Aw, it's OK; it's preseason.' This momentum we're riding right now, this wave we're riding, it's not good. It's not good at all," said Karl-Anthony Towns after the lackluster loss, according to ESPN.
Why haven't the Wolves plays with consistent energy and focus this preseason?
"I really don't damn know," Towns said. "But if you find out, let me know. You can get beat. Everybody in this league – I don't care if you're the Golden State Warriors my rookie year, the 95-96 Bulls – you're gonna lose some games. But you can't get embarrassed. That's just unacceptable."
Butler practiced with the Wolves on Wednesday and then immediately sat down for a national interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, during which he said his beef with team management can't be fixed.
Butler then told Nichols that he led a players-only meeting on Thursday, informing them that his frustration doesn't have anything to do with his teammates despite countless reports saying he has a strained relationship with Towns and Wiggins.
Butler did not travel with Minnesota to Milwaukee and it's unclear if he'll be on the floor when the Wolves open the regular season at San Antonio on Wednesday.
When asked about the situation on Friday, head coach Tom Thibodeau only said the situation remains "fluid."