Timberwolves Center Karl-Anthony Towns has been in the NBA for 5 seasons now. And in those 5 seasons, the superstar big man has only been to the postseason once.
It’s pretty glaring that the Wolves Front Office have been atrocious getting the right pieces around Towns through the past couple of seasons. And with Andrew Wiggins not playing to his potential, the job has never been completed for these guys and they just continue to fall short in the West for a playoff position. Although Minnesota has been terrible for so many years now, it may be time for Towns to take his game to another level both physically and mentally.
Now Towns has been a dominant player through the course of his career. His career averages revolve around 22 points per game and 12 rebounds. Only looking at the numbers, one would think that he would not be the reason why the Wolves have not exceeded expectations. But like many other players, KAT has most definitely plays his part in why the Wolves are so bad.
With Towns’ size and ability to dominate on the offensive end, there is without question that the Wolves should be a better team with the way he dominates the floor. But on the defensive end, that is a totally different conversation.
Looking at many Wolves’ games, there are many defensive possessions where Towns is not as aggressive trying to stop the ball. It’s understandable that superstars like to save their energy so they can dominate on offense, but with the way Towns’ career has played with the Wolves not exceeding, there has to be more of an effort for the better of the team.
There are also many times where Towns does not seem engaged into the game as well. This was something that used to frustrate Jimmy Butler during his tenure with the team. When a player is the star of the team, there is no question that he is required to understand everything that is going on. That is the challenge for Towns going forward in his career as he continues pushing this Minnesota team to be in the position they deserve to be in.
This season has been an improvement for Towns as a leader though. With the hot start that the Wolves had to begin the season, he was fully engaged and asserted himself on both ends. Many were also beginning to believe that both he and Andrew Wiggins would begin to co-exist after all. But unfortunately, that narrative went away quickly once Towns went down with a knee injury, which caused the entire season to turmoil at that moment.
Once Towns went down, the team just began to struggle from then on and it lingered all the way until Towns was able to return to the floor. They don’t have the same confidence that they played with on the beginning of the season and it seems as if Ryan Saunders can’t find a solution to fix the problem. As Towns returned from injury, the bad bug has continued for this team and they are now officially 14th in the West.
Towns has shown his frustration of his team to the media. Which is in fact another reason why he should be extra motivated to take his game to the next level. It is no question that the Wolves’ hope for a playoff spot is now gone. So all they can do at this point is continue to learn from their mistakes and move on from this point looking forward to next season.
During the trade deadline, the Timberwolves decided to trade Andrew Wiggins to Golden State for D’Angelo Russell. For Wolves fans, this is a plus for the team after trying so many years with Wiggins failing to figure himself out as a player. And Russell is a player one can lean on to step up big when needed.
This can possibly be one of Minnesota’s best moves in a very long time. Russell can be a guy that can compliment Towns’ game so well. With these young talents leading the pact for this struggling Wolves team, it will be interesting to see where this new core can take the team as far as playoff contention.
In conclusion, no one will ever question Karl Anthony Towns as an offensive talent in the NBA. This big man is arguably the best floor stretcher at his position and can use any place on the floor to get himself a basket. But as far as becoming a better overall team, it all starts with him on being assertive on the defensive end and setting the tone for his teammates to play hard.
If Towns does not set the tone for this team going forward, there will be no success for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Even with the acquisition of Russell and an offensive threat that he can be, it is clear that Towns is the center piece for this team and everything revolves around him on the floor. It will be interesting to see how Towns will adjust his game physically and mentally for the better of his team in the long run.