Head coach Chris Finch got some cryptic suggestions on what could have been the concerns of the Minnesota Timberwolves down the stretch that ultimately resulted in their 108-102 overtime Play-In downfall against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Timberwolves have led most of the time on the Tuesday outing, even gaining a 15-point margin. But they caught a cold snap and just churned seven total points in the final 11 minutes of action – encompassing the fourth frame and the extension period.
“Body movement, ball movement. Same thing we talked about in the beginning. We just passed, we just got static. They switched a lot of things and we didn’t got quick enough, we didn’t go with enough force,” said Finch in the postgame.
“We needed to get to the free throw line or something like that. We missed a couple of bodies too and a couple of turnovers as well, but I’m not supposed to sit here and talk about the free throw differential but that was also big.”
For context, the Lakers have shot 22-for-24 total foul shots on the Play-In matchup, out shadowing the Wolves’ 14-for-15 record.
17 of Los Angeles’ free throws came in from the entire second half, while the Wolves just made a trip thrice to the line on the said stretch. As such, Finch noted that this difference between the two teams was challenging, which became a factor that resulted in his club fighting for its season on Friday between the winner of the No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans and No. 10 Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I thought they were fouling us up the floor a lot. We never really got to the bonus, except for the second quarter. So, I don’t know. The first three free throws we shot were at the end of regulation in the second half. 17 to 3, I believe. Something like that. It was tough. We gotta force the action and get to the rim and get to the free throw line more.”