Can the Wolves handle the heat of the Suns?

Timberwolves

It was an absolutely incredible regular season for our Minnesota Timberwolves. It was probably even the second best in franchise history. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop the negativity cropping up at the worst time possible. How will the Wolves handle the heat of the Suns?

A Season to Remember 

A long, exciting, thrilling, stirring, rip-roaring, gripping, eventful, riveting season. There are so many words to describe it. Unless you’re in your 30s, you have never experienced a season this good. Even if you were around for the KG years you were only around for just one season better than this.

That shows how special it has been and no future negativity can take away from that. I could go on and on about this season but the blog would be too long then.

I mention all of that to clarify just how special the season was. Ultimately, though, we need to talk about what is to come. The pending first round matchup and how the Wolves can handle the Suns. 

KD Comes to Town

The Wolves have not faired well against the Suns this year. At all. Those Coyote-less bitches in Arizona are the only team to beat us twice by double digits. And they did it 3 times. We are 0-3 against them and the closest loss was 10. So there is a very real reason why most Wolves fans are worried. Negativity or not, Minnesota Sports curses or not, drawing the Suns after one of the best seasons in franchise history blows.

I’m aware in each of the 3 games we have we almost impressively bad in a certain aspect. It is really hard to say it is a complete fluke though. We just haven’t played well against the Suns and that is worrisome. What is the reason? Will they be able to figure it out? I don’t have answers to these questions, if someone did I’m sure we wouldn’t have gotten destroyed each game. Hopefully Finch and the staff can find answers and quick because they need it.

It isn’t often that the lower seed is actually a favorite but that is the case here, sadly with good reason. This season in the West isn’t like most seasons. Pretty much every team has a legitimate chance to make a real run. So really none of the matchups have a team that is way better than the other.

That is incredibly fun for fans in general, but for us Wolves fans, it isn’t a good year to be the case. We happened to get the worst matchup too and this team will need to wake up quick. Sadly we can’t complain, we have to show up and be ready. Let’s hope the team is ready for the challenge.

Keys To The Series

There will be quite a few keys to this series if we want to come away with a win. I will talk about a few of the more important ones if we are going to come out on top of this series with the Suns.

KAT

It is asking for a lot to heavily rely on KAT when he just came back from injury. Unfortunately they are probably going to need him to step up in a big way if they want to win this series. The Suns don’t really have a conventional guy who can guard KAT. If KAT is just smart and takes advantage of matchups, he should be able to feast. Now, that is a big if with KAT, sadly. I love KAT, but he tends to make some questionable decisions and doesn’t tend to take advantage in situations like this. If he isn’t able to do so, this will be a tough series.

KAT being on Grayson Allen is also a key. He has had great success against us this year and putting KAT on him could haunt. The last game was a good example on why it could be a mistake.

Could bringing KAT off the bench also be a possibility? This would help him avoid that matchup as much and would be a good idea until he gets his feet wet. We will see what they end up doing, nothing is off the table.

Let’s just pray KAT finds his rhythm quickly and gives us the boost we need so badly.

Karl-Anthony Towns has averaged 18.6 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 16 games in the playoffs in his career.

Bench

With not knowing what we will get out of KAT, the bench needs to step up more than ever. The bench has been so vital for us this year and if we want to win this series, they have to step up. Whether it is 6th Man of the Year Naz Reid, NAW, Slow-Mo, or maybe even Monte Morris. We need the bench to show up every night, especially with the Suns bench being bad. If the starters keep the game close, something they haven’t been able to do, that gives the bench a chance to make their mark. If we can just do that, I think this series will go better than most are expecting.

They just can’t let the Suns get out to such huge leads again. That has happened in every game and we are scratching and clawing our way back the whole game. It also allows the Suns to not play their starters as much. If we keep the game close, we will have opportunities to expose the Suns weak bench. If we get smacked right out the gate though, then we won’t have those opportunities. That will play a major role in the bench battle and the series as a whole.

Ant

This is obvious but we need Ant to be a SUPERSTAR to even win this series. We know he is built for these moments and he has shown it to us multiple times. Even with his recent shooting woes I am not worried about him stepping up when the lights are bright. I expect nothing less than greatness from Ant and if we want to win that is exactly what is going to have to happen.

This series is going to be a hell of a battle and it is only round 1. No matter what happens this has been a special season. The best season I’ve witnessed as a fan and top 2 in franchise history. If things don’t go well, let’s not forget that.

I pray to the basketball gods that doesn’t happen and we live to see another round. I will try to write something during the series but lord have mercy do I hope I get to talk to you guys leading up to the second round. We can ask the question though, do we think the Wolves can handle the heat of the Suns?

LET’S GO WOLVES

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