Karl-Anthony Towns RumorsAll NBA Players
After not forcing things, and often disappearing, in the fourth quarters of games with Butler, Towns demanded the ball against the overmatched Cody Zeller, which is just what his teammates have been waiting to see. “I think he always wanted that role. But you know, they were two talented players,” Teague said. “But now he’s demanding it. And we all expect it from it, really. He knows this is his team and we follow him.”
Fall behind in the first half. Andrew Wiggins comes to the rescue to keep the Wolves alive, then then Wolves pull away in the second half. Also like Monday’s game, the Wolves had a heart-to-heart in the locker room at halftime in which they hashed things out and got back on the same page. “We had a very great discussion, I’ll call it that,” Karl-Anthony Towns said with a smirk.
Christopher Hine: Derrick Rose on his relationship with Karl-Anthony Towns (1/2): “KAT gets the ball and he makes a crazy pass, I tell him, hey I got you guys, I’ll curse him out for you. Everybody is scared to say something to him, but the relationship we have, I tell him what I see …”
Sources close to the team told The Athletic there were stretches of the 2017-18 season in which Butler would avoid giving Towns the ball consistently on offense. It was a protest of sorts at Towns’ inconsistent effort and execution on defense. A motivational tool that sacrificed shot attempts for the center while trying to galvanize a defensive effort. While sources wouldn’t offer up specific games or instances, the first half of the season seemed to be a roller coaster for Towns being involved properly in the offense.
We saw an even more dramatic increase with Towns’ scoring rate. With Butler on the floor, Towns 23.3 points per 100 possessions. When Butler would sit, Towns’ scoring rate skyrocketed to 34.5 points per 100 possessions and he was more efficient in how he scored. In the nine games since Butler’s trade, Towns has a usage rate of 27.4 percent. He even had three straight games of a usage rate of 31.0 percent or higher. Last season, he never had back-to-back games of a usage rate over 30.0 percent and only had eight of those games total. He has five total in the Wolves’ first 22 games.
“KAT’s going through the process of not trying to piss everybody off or being everybody’s friend,” said Garnett, who now hosts “Area 21” on TNT. “At the same time, you can’t have someone do something that you’re not willing to do. You can’t get on someone, if you’re not doing those same things.”