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December 7, 2022 | 9:29 pm EST Update

Tim Connelly on Timberwolves: 'If it doesn't work, point the fingers at me'

“I’m pretty optimistic about the group of great guys we have here,” Connelly said. “We know we have the right coach, we know we have the right ownership. If it doesn’t work, point the fingers at me. I’m a big boy. I have pretty high expectations for this organization and for myself. But with all these new faces, it’s going to be hard at times, and how do we help?” The increased expectations, and the stakes involved after paying a high price to land Rudy Gobert, have been evident on the faces of the players as they have navigated the early portion of this season. It is clear they believed the progress would come sooner and easier than it has. That was one thing Finch was concerned about heading into the season, that the team would expect the wins to come naturally. They are coming to the realization that it’s going to take harder work and more commitment.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are just over a quarter of the way through their first season with Rudy Gobert, and the man who assembled a team with high expectations understands the angst in some corners of the fan base about their uneven start. “We’ve seen moments we look really good and moments we haven’t,” Wolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly told The Athletic. “If you were to ask me two months ago when the season started, we thought we’d be a little further ahead of the curve.”
While the fit with Towns and Gobert was the most scrutinized aspect of Minnesota’s lineup, it was Towns who actually showed some of the best feel for playing with Gobert on offense. He led the Wolves in assists to Gobert and showed a willingness to incorporate him into the offense, sometimes turning the ball over while trying to get Gobert involved. That enthusiasm on Towns’ part is a big reason Connelly believes the pairing can work over the long term. “We’re not going to bury our head in the sand and pretend it’s been flawless,” Connelly said. “We never expected that. When we made the trade, it wasn’t done without a lot of conversation, a lot of watching of tape.”