Naz Reid is a perfect component in the free-wheeling offense that Timberwolves coach Chris Finch prefers, and his absence was evident in Friday’s loss to the Lakers, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Reid is expected to undergo surgery and miss six weeks after fracturing his left wrist this week.
Finch said the offense lacked “flow” without Reid, who had averaged 18.1 PPG over his last eight games. The team missed Reid’s quick decision-making, Hine notes, and shot just 32% from the field in the second half as it dropped an important game to a rival in the Western Conference playoff race.
The loss of Reid comes while Minnesota is still adjusting to Karl-Anthony Towns, who returned to action 10 days ago. Finch believes the Wolves may be trying to force the ball to Towns too often, and Mike Conley has been working individually with Towns to find the best way to integrate him into the offense.
“Having him back in the mix and him implementing into what we’re already doing is, I wouldn’t say challenging, but it’s the obstacle that we’re trying to (overcome),” Conley said. “How can we get us to space the floor properly. How can we cut? What plays? Plays change when you bring a guy like KAT in. Stuff that we run for him now as opposed to we weren’t running those plays before, so it’s just finding the balance.”
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- In an interview with Marc J. Spears of Andscape, Conley talks about the challenges he faced after being traded in midseason for the first time in his career. Although Conley has stabilized the Timberwolves since being acquired from the Jazz in February, he rarely gets to see his wife and three young sons, who are still living in Utah.
- Appearing Friday on the Dan Patrick Show (video link), Damian Lillard said the Trail Blazers made the choice to shut him down for the rest of the season (hat tip to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports). “I wouldn’t say it’s my decision at all,” said Lillard, who appeared in 58 games this season. “I think maybe the team protecting me from myself. … Every time that I’ve had some type injury like that kind of get irritated or aggravated or something like that, it’s come from just like a heavy load, and stress, and just, you know, going out there and trying to go above and beyond. So, you know, I would say just; there is something there, and also them just trying to protect me from myself as well.” Lillard also reiterated his loyalty to the organization, saying he’s still determined to bring a title to Portland.
- Luka Samanic is grateful to get another shot at the NBA with the Jazz, per Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. Before signing a 10-day contract with Utah, the former first-round pick hadn’t appeared in an NBA game since the Spurs waived him before the start of last season.
13 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Reid, Towns, Conley, Lillard, Samanic”
One of Wolves or Pelicans will miss the playoffs
Nobody fears No. 1 seed, nobody.
10th seed does not feel Nuggets, neither is 11th seed.
The following teams don’t fear Nuggets
Interesting. With the Joker, Jamal Murray & Michael Porter all healthy this year, for the first time, and the Nuggets with the most wins and the #1 seed in the West, no one fears them? Well, less pressure on Denver then. Wonder what the odds are on Denver to make it to the Finals? Might be an overlay and a good bet.
Yes not sure why the nuggets are not feared. Maybe because their overall team defense isn’t lock down as good as some of the other teams? Celtics by the way come out of the east in my opinion. They almost won it last year.
Sillivan, then who is the team to be feared in the West, or teams? I’d say the Suns and.., well.., the Suns.
4 teams to be feared by order
Grizzlies (even without Brandon Clarke)
Warriors if Wiggins is back by April 5 (likely)
I actually can see it being a reasonable take that no one is “feared” in the sense that all these teams think they can beat one another. I think rather than fearing each other, they will each embrace the challenge with the mindset that they can win.
I expect the Nuggets won’t lose to a play-in team, but if they’re pushed to 6 or 7, I wouldn’t be shocked.
“Lillard also reiterated his loyalty to the organization, saying he’s still determined to bring a title to Portland.”
The problem is that the same can’t be said about the organization’s determination.
trade him and let him help try bring a chip to portland working on the bench or in the fo after he retires.
I think Lillard has played his last game as a Blazer.
I don’t think the franchise will continue the spending spree during the rebuild years.
Seems like Lillard looks healthy, and has some trade value, now or never
I think the Blazers are more likely to hold on to their star player and not build for championship aspirations eventually. They’re like the Angels in baseball. They’ll keep the face of the franchise, their star player, for his entire career, try to put some good players around him, sort of make an effort to win, never really make it and wait till the guy retires. Then start over at that point.
The only way that sentimental star player gets traded is if there’s a new ownership group.
I’d agree, but nothing with the Blazers has been very predictable since they let Neil Olshey go.
They have a history of bad luck, and they sort of did have an ownership change which resulted in McCollum getting traded, and Olshey fired.
The ownership seems to go back & forth between a trust lawyer demanding the Blazers be sold, and the money donated toward charities, or Jody Allen.
Either way a company is running the team, and has been. Vulcan, I believe.
Since they have been the only conductor of the symphony, the player movement, and acquisition has been shaky at best.
I expect Lillard to be traded for chump change like McCollum, Trent, Hart, Payton II.
All of those trades spell major rebuild, and Simons has not developed as planned.
The Blazers have huge defensive holes to plug that they said was a priority 3 seasons ago…
I trust the Blazers with nothing at this point, but Lillard hasn’t left yet, so the Odds are in your favor…
It is weird how reality cannot penetrate your chosen belief system. The man said he is staying in Portland. Did you not hear him say this over and over again? How can you possibly beleive he has played his last game as a Blazer? Wow. That is thick.
Luka definitely has the talent to play on a rotation. At 23 he needs to push hard for it. Keep getting better.