Wolves Notes: Conley, Finch, Towns, Edwards

Mike Conley will have a chance to make a new Game 7 memory on Sunday, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. The Timberwolves‘ veteran point guard is still bothered by how the series ended when he and Rudy Gobert faced the Nuggets as members of the Jazz in a 2020 seventh game in the Orlando bubble. Conley had an opportunity to give Utah a dramatic victory, but his three-point shot at the buzzer misfired.

“I’ve replayed it a lot,” he said. “Having that opportunity to win a Game 7 like that and not be able to make the shot was tough. Now here we are in a similar situation, where we get to play the same team, a lot of the same guys. So for me, it’s just something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Hopefully this will turn out different.”

Conley plans to be ready despite being listed as questionable with a right soleus strain that kept him out of Game 5. He was able to return for Thursday’s contest and said he feels better now than he did that night. He wants to be on the court so he can put to rest the bad memories from four years ago.

“It’s hard to escape it,” Conley said. “You find that clip every now and then. Sometimes it comes across the phone. I don’t actively search it — I don’t want to bring up that memory too much. But at the same time, it’s something that I’ve thought about at workouts and I think about if I’m having a tough day in a workout missing a certain shot. I’m like, ‘Nah, I got to make this because I might be in this situation again.'”

There’s more on the Wolves:

  • Injured head coach Chris Finch said he and lead assistant Micah Nori have developed an effective system as the series has worn on, Hine adds in the same piece. Finch can’t roam the sidelines after suffering a ruptured patella tendon in the first round, so he and Nori have to be selective about when they communicate. “Couple games ago, he was looking at me or to me a lot,” Finch said. “I just said, you can’t do that, we’re losing some possessions maybe here and there. Just trust your gut. He’s got 30 years of experience. So use it.”
  • Karl-Anthony Towns only scored 10 points in Game 6, but he sparked Minnesota’s blowout by doing all the things his critics say he can’t do, observes Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune. Towns served as the primary defender against Nikola Jokic, grabbed seven rebounds by the end of the first quarter and made the right passes in the offense.
  • Teammates raved about Anthony Edwards‘ maturation int0 a leader after Game 6, per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. As the Wolves pulled away, Edwards implored the team to avoid any letdown that would allow Denver to get back into the game. “Just the way he’s grown from, I always say my second year, his rookie year, just from the way he’s grown as a basketball player and that person,” Naz Reid said. “It’s completely night and day.”
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