NBA expert: Wolves are struggling because they were 'Sam Mitchell-ed'

NBA expert David Thorpe blames the Wolves' rough start on ex-head coach Sam Mitchell.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

ESPN basketball wonk David Thorpe couldn't glow any more about the Timberwolves than he did on The Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe.

Unless he was talking about ex-Wolves head coach Sam Mitchell.

Thorpe called Mitchell a "terrible" coach who "set the franchise back" and "sent (Andrew) Wiggins back." Specifically, Thorpe blames Minnesota's early-season defensive struggles on the guy the Wolves fired last season.

"They're just terrible defensively because they've been what I call Sam Mitchell-ed. I don't think you can just recover from Sam Mitchell being your coach in just a couple weeks, which is really what we're talking about here," Thorpe said. "I think over time this team will drop a little bit offensively, but significantly improve defensively and end up being a team that can threaten for that seven or eight spot in the West."

Minnesota's first three losses of the season were by 10 points total. Instead of being 3-7, ESPN's True Hoop podcast crew agreed the Wolves should easily be 6-4 or better if not for their third-worst defense in the league.

"Over time, I think that he'll (head coach Tom Thibodeau) do what he did in Chicago and they'll be a much better defensive team," Thorpe added.

Raving about Wiggins

"If you built an athlete in a lab, that's who you'd build," Thorpe said, and Lowe agreed.

"He's obviously not going to shoot 55 percent," said Lowe, referring to Wiggins' league-leading 3-point percentage. "If he can be an average 3-point shooter, their world could change if that's real."

How good could the Wolves be? "I really think they're going to be an amazing team to watch as Wiggins and Towns take over the league," said Thorpe.

Next Up

Sergio Romo

Twins decline 2021 option on Sergio Romo

The Twins begin a potential overhaul in the bullpen.

high school football

'Scalpel approach' gives MN schools chance to keep playing sports

County infection rates are no longer the only thing that matters.

CJ-AHyggeHoliday-Photo2

With the help of HVAC, Circus Juventas will host its first holiday shows

After months of canceled classes and shows, Circus Juventas is hosting its first ever holiday show, with safety precautions.

Cameron Dantzler

Vikings send Cameron Dantzler to COVID-19/reserve list

Dantzler's placement leaves the Vikings paper-thin at cornerback heading into Green Bay.

peterson fischbach

Elections 2020 preview: 7th Congressional District

Will Collin Peterson hang on for yet another term?

Zimmer and Hunter

Zimmer explains why he called Hunter's neck injury a 'tweak'

The coach also said Dalvin Cook should return from injury this week.

magazines

60 charged in magazine scam that netted $300M

It's being called the largest elder fraud scheme in the country.

Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 10.30.23 AM

The Star Tribune is shutting down City Pages

The free newspaper was bought by the Star Tribune in 2015.

billy's on grand

Coronavirus: Billy's on Grand will close for winter

The restaurant is among a growing list of eateries to close for the winter months.

Related

NBA expert: Wolves are struggling because they were 'Sam Mitchell-ed'

NBA expert David Thorpe blames the Wolves' rough start on ex-head coach Sam Mitchell.

Ex-coach: Wolves need move Wiggins to shooting guard

Sam Mitchell still believes Wiggins' full potential hasn't been realized.

Take away the 3rd quarter and the Wolves are dominating the NBA

The Wolves would probably be undefeated if they would've have played just a little bit better in the third quarter of games.

Take away the 3rd quarter and the Wolves are dominating the NBA

The Wolves would probably be undefeated if they would've have played just a little bit better in the third quarter of games.

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.