West Notes: Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns, Clippers, Blazers


Coach Chris Finch said he’s trying to make sure Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert feel like a fit for the playoffs. Assuming the Timberwolves make it, that is.

But it’s more than just those two. He also wants to make sure center/forward Naz Reid gets plenty of run.

“We got to find a way to make the two-big lineup work,” Finch said, via Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It has to be who we are in these last eight games. We have the flexibility to go a lot of different directions. But when a guy’s playing this well, he deserves to be out there in some form or fashion. It’s my job to figure it out.”

  • Towns hit the game-winner in Sunday’s win over the Warriors. This after he made game-winning free throws to beat the Hawks in his first game following a 52-game absence. So he’s fit in seamlessly. “One thing is trying to work on KAT’s spacing and decision-making when he gets the ball,” Finch said, via Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune. “We can’t have him coming in and being too much of a ball-stopper right now. We have a really good rhythm to our offense. The ball has been moving really well.”


The Clippers have lost three of five, and clearly will have to pull it together soon if they hope to do anything in the playoffs.

It’s tough to dig yourself a hole and try to climb out every single night,” coach Tyronn Lue said, via Andrew Grief of the LA Times. “We got to be better starting games.” 

Trail Blazers

Reports suggested that the Trail Blazers are considering shutting down guard Damian Lillard for the remainder of the season, as well as perhaps guard Anfernee Simons, forward Jerami Grant and center Jusuf Nurkic.

But coach Chauncey Billups made it sound as if that is not the case.

“We’re just being cautious,” Billups told reporters.

  • Billups just wants the guys who are available to keep playing hard. “For us, I just keep preaching how we want to play. We want to try and play fast. We want to try to share the ball. We want to talk and be physical and very competitive, defensively,” he said, via Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian. “… As a coach, that’s what you want. You want your guys to go out there and try to do what you’re asking them to do.”

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