NBA

Critics turn to Karl-Anthony Towns as his shooting woes continue and Mavs lead 3-0

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Timberwolves Mavericks Basketball

Even though the Timberwolves were exuberant with confidence after eliminating the reigning champions Nuggets in the West’s semifinals, now they are trailing behind the Mavericks 0-3 in the series. It seems their cockiness is over as Luka Doncic and company are dominating their conference Finals. 

Critics are desperately looking for someone to blame, and Karl-Anthony Towns seems to fit the profile, as the Minnesota star has continued to fail from his field goal attempts. The center produced a poor shooting display in Sunday’s 116-107 Game 3 loss and his head coach is well aware.

“He struggled, of course,” Chris Finch said about his big man’s 14 points on 5-for-18 shooting, alongside his 0-for-8 from beyond the arc. “It was hard to watch at times.”

Towns was even worse during the fourth quarter, as he went scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting and his squad was easily outscored 14-3 in the last 5 minutes of the match.

“I’ve got to laugh,” KAT expressed after the contest. “I’m putting up to 1,500 shots a day. Shot so well all playoffs, confidence extremely high. To be having these unfortunate bounces and these looks that are just not going in, it’s tough. It’s tough, for sure. I’m good confidence-wise. Just got to keep shooting.”

The four-time All-Star, who has been shooting 27.8% during these series, was even benched for almost the last 9 minutes of their Game 2 loss. Incredibly, this record marks the fourth-worst field goal percentage by any athlete during the first three games of a conference finals in the shot clock era.

“I think KAT’s got to just do a better job of maybe getting back to his old self, of finding himself around the basket more,” said teammate Kyle Anderson. “Rim running, taking advantage of mismatches. He’s obviously a really good player, and he’s big time for us, so we need him to get going. So, it’s our job to put him in the right position. The 3s will fall.”

The Wolves roster believe that the secret to a series comeback is to remain positive despite the 0-3 adversity

Never has an NBA team come back from trailing 0-3 in a playoff series, but the Minnesota locker room isn’t losing faith, as they understand basketball is a complicated sport that has its’ surprises.

“We can’t do nothing but be positive at this point. We can’t be negative. Just try to get it one win at a time,” Anthony Edwards said. “I never seen the sky falling. I don’t know, I’m always positive, always happy. I’ve been through the worst so the sky is never falling for me.”

The Wolves star even blamed the referees for their defeat. “They had 31 free throws,” he said, “we had 17.” Despite his indirect accusation, Minnesota missed as many free throws as the Mavericks did.

Rudy Gobert, on the other hand, believes it is all about trust in your teammates. “Basketball is not a perfect science, but we got to find ways to raise our level when it matters,” he said. “The last six minutes, everything has got to be on a higher level from this point. Everything. … So we got to just keep trusting one another. Individually, look at all the things that can be better and then collectively, keep being who we are.”