Timberwolves Coach Chris Finch Diagnosed With Torn Patellar Tendon After Late-Game Sideline Collision

The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Phoenix Suns 122-116, winning the first-round playoff series 4-0, however, the team will be dealing with a new injury for the rest of the season, as head coach Chris Finch has been diagnosed with a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. Finch was involved in a collision that took place during the fourth quarter of the Game 4 win, as reported by Shams Charania.

Chris Finch huddles with Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.With 1:41 left in the game, Mike Conley dribbled up the sideline, and contact was made by Suns’ defender Devin Booker (49 points) pushing the Timberwolves guard out of bounds, which resulted in him running into his own coach.

Finch, 54 years old, immediately fell to the ground grimacing in pain, grabbing at his leg. The entire team and staff surrounded the coach in concern, who was then assisted off the floor and taken into the locker room for medical examination.

After the incident occurred, assistant coach Micah Nori took over on the sideline, and the third-seeded Timberwolves held on to the lead, completing the sweep over the sixth-seeded Suns. 

“Obviously he took a hit to his lower leg,” 2-minute head coach Nori stated in the postgame press conference. “Kind of like a hockey lower-body injury. But they are looking at him now, it was great though the whole team went down to the medical room. And He’s obviously in good spirits and so are the guys.” 

Despite the injury, the cameras showed Finch smiling after the game with the whole team gathered around him in support, as they celebrated the first-round series win. Not only that but it was also announced earlier today, the fourth-year head coach (160-127 career record) finished the season third in the NBA Coach of the Year voting, behind Thunder coach Mark Daigneault (first place) and Magic coach Jamahl Mosley (runner-up). 

Anthony Edwards, who had 40 points (31 in second half), was asked about how he felt after seeing his coach go down, “I was mad, it’s not even something I want to talk about. I was pissed off, but we had to finish the game, win the game.”

Coach Finch will have plenty of time to rest after the sweep, as the Timberwolves await to see who their next opponent is going to be for the conference semifinals matchup, which will be the winner of the Nuggets vs. Lakers series (DEN leads 3-1). 

“He’s not playing, that’s the good thing,” Charles Barkley said about the injured coach on TNT’s Inside the NBA. “He’s got at least a week off.” 

Finch will be on the injured report ahead of the next series matchup, while his knee injury may linger into next season as the typical full recovery time after a patellar tendon tear is roughly around six months.

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