Updated:
Original:

Thibs basically says the Wolves weren't serious enough this season

The Wolves have now lost at least 50 games in 16 of their 28 seasons as a franchise.
Author:

Without Russell Westbrook, Taj Gibson, Andre Roberson, Doug McDermott and Alex Abrines, the Oklahoma City Thunder found a way to spoil Minnesota's last home game of the season, 100-98 Tuesday night at Target Center.

Victor Oladipo's game-winning shot with six seconds to go culminated another late collapse by the Wolves, who are 15-29 in games this season in games that are within five points in the final five minutes, according to ESPN.

"That's what we have to learn," said Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau. "There's 44 seconds to go ... you don't want to beat yourself. You have to be disciplined. You don't trick people. You just have to be sound. We don't need crazy shots, we don't need gambles. All you have to do is be solid and be disciplined. Do your job. If you do that you're going to give yourself a good chance to win."

The big problem: Ricky Rubio, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are among the 11 worst clutch plus-minus players in the NBA.

  • Rubio: minus-64
  • Towns: minus-54
  • Wiggins: minus-52

Towns and Wiggins rank 10th- and- 11th-worst while Rubio ranks fourth worst. Only Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss of the Suns and Caris Levert of the Nets are worse.

Thibodeau, not afraid to tell it like it is, says they need to prepare harder if they want to contend next season.

"I think they're learning. I think that's all part of it. They think they're probably doing a lot, but it's not up to what they really need to do," he said. "Building those habits and studying and preparing and getting yourself ready to go, it's a big part of this league. The teams that are serious do it."

Towns, fifth in the league in scoring (28.4 points per game) since the All-Star break, is frustrated.

“I think there’s been progress most definitely, but it’s upsetting that we have to come down the stretch at the end of our season with losses like this,” Towns said after Tuesday's loss. “I think we’ve worked tremendously hard to improve our team, and right now we’re just not showing it. We’ve got things we’ve got to work on so next year we’re ready.”

Minnesota puts a bow on this season Wednesday night at Houston.

Next Up

Mike Zimmer

‘Fire Zimmer’ trending after Vikings beat Panthers

The Vikings won the game but their coach is still on the hot seat.

Screen Shot 2021-10-17 at 8.24.33 PM

NCHC condemns Huskies fans for throwing projectiles after controversial no-call

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference says that it will be reviewing both the no-call and the aftermath.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins saves the day again to get Vikings to .500

Cousins' overtime toss to K.J. Osborn earned a 34-28 victory.

Nurses on strike

Nurses start 3-day strike at Allina WestHealth in Plymouth

A "last attempt" at negotiations failed to produce an agreement last Wednesday.

boating minnesota lake

Minnesota has experienced its deadliest boating season since 2005

Minnesota has seen 17 boating-related deaths so far this year.

Drew Doughty

Kirill Kaprizov makes Kings’ Doughty eat his words

The Kings defenseman isn't a fan of the Wild star's new deal.

Quinn Olson / UMD Hockey

Watch: UMD's Olson goes between-the-legs to set up highlight goal

Another Saturday. Another highlight for a Minnesota college hockey team.

Gopher Hockey

Watch: No-call lifts Gophers to OT victory over St. Cloud State

A blatant hook marred a top-four battle in St. Cloud.

Related

Thibs basically says the Wolves weren't serious enough this season

The Wolves have now lost at least 50 games in 16 of their 28 seasons as a franchise.

5 things to see before the Wolves open the season

The excitement level for the Wolves might be at an all-time high.

5 things to see before the Wolves open the season

The excitement level for the Wolves might be at an all-time high.

Wolves a sleeping giant? Thibs: 'We've gotta straighten it out fast'

Third quarters are killing the Wolves and head coach Tom Thibodeau has had enough.

Wolves a sleeping giant? Thibs: 'We've gotta straighten it out fast'

Third quarters are killing the Wolves and head coach Tom Thibodeau has had enough.

Dare we say, a winning streak is coming for the Wolves?

The schedule should allow the Wolves to climb closer to .500 over the next month.

Dare we say, a winning streak is coming for the Wolves?

The schedule should allow the Wolves to climb closer to .500 over the next month.

Video: Butler, Thibs booed loudly by Wolves fans

Quite the homecoming for the 2018-19 season.