Ricky goes back to his old ways in the horror of the Timberwolves

Disaster for a team that only scored two points in the last six minutes of the game and lost even though the Raptors stayed at 86.


The Timberwolves are unable to win. No matter how the matches are, how hard they work to give themselves opportunities in the last minutes, how good or bad the rivals are. They are the worst team in the NBA (7-23 in 30 games), a 17% win rate that can sting horribly if their first-round pick falls outside of the top 3 (it would be for the Warriors after 4). They will be thinking about that more and more, and how much Ryan Saunders is to blame for his team not working.

Because it doesn't work: Another eight losses in ten games and three in a row after winning in Toronto on Sunday. Another black week culminated in a skid in the visit to Minneapolis by the same Raptors who had beaten five days earlier. So, they turned their bad first half with 37 points in the third quarter. This time they did the same, from a -10 to get ahead (64-58) with a 29-13 total run and an incredible 23-1 in more than eight minutes in which the Wolves' rotation units put an energy overflowing, with rookie Jaden McDaniels defending everywhere and No. 1 in the draft, Anthony Edwards (another night of bad shots: 3/14 for 7 points) signing what is for now the mate of the season.

But the Wolves simply can't win. Nothing. Impossible. In the last quarter they were dry: two points in the final six minutes (2-13), 0-11 final in the final 3:40. A disaster: Karl-Anthony Towns returned to court with 7:35 left and only shot to the basket twice. Ricky Rubio returned with 4:53 and his team added 2 points, with two losses from the Spanish point guard, who returned to his worst feelings: 7 points, 2/6 shooting, 4 assists, 3 losses. Something in Saunder's script isn't working, and something about Ricky's track connections isn't going well if the ball doesn't even reach Towns by the time the game is decided. The pivot finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Beasley had 13 points on 16 shots (5/16) and wasted the attack to force extra time.

So the Wolves lost to some Raptors without Lowry, or Anunoby. An opponent who scored only 86 points in a game whose final score (81-86) is what is now distilled in many NBA duels ... in the middle of the third quarter. Between the two teams, 60/168 in shots (down 36%), 21/78 in triples (down 27%) and 32 losses. Lasted? Very hard. Only Norm Powell (31 points, 6/10 on 3s) came close. Siakam stayed at 10 points, VanVleet at 12 with a 4/20 shooting and the Raptors added 30 points between the second and third quarters (17 and 13) after reaching a +19 (19-38) going through the 16th minute. But they won, because the Wolves shot themselves in the foot. Once again, a desperate march for a team that does not find stable rotation units, that runs away from its main weapons in incomprehensible stretches of the game and that hides the green shoots of its young with dire streaks. And that underutilizes the increasingly suffering Towns. The result, that 7-23 that is, neither more nor less, a reflection of a very harsh reality.

Photos from as.com
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