Despite the fact that the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to struggle, veteran guard Austin Rivers still feels that the roster has plenty of talent.
"We have more than enough here. We have a loaded team, loaded roster, great coach. It’s one of those things that in the NBA, when it rains it pours sometimes, it really does. But perspective is everything. I think the main thing for us right now is keeping perspective."
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) January 2, 2023
Entering Monday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets, the Timberwolves have a record of just 16-21. That puts the team currently outside of the two play-in spots to compete for a postseason berth.
The comments by Rivers come after Saturday night’s embarrassing home loss to the Detroit Pistons, who presently have the worst record in the NBA. That defeat extended the Timberwolves’ losing streak to six games.
Since the Timberwolves’ 115-101 win over the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 23, the team has only managed to win six of its last 19 games. At least a portion of those problems can be attributed to the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns, who suffered a calf injury during the Timberwolves’ game against the Washington Wizards on Nov. 28.
Rivers, who has bounced around the NBA during his playing career, is in his first season with the Timberwolves. He’s been used primarily off the bench, starting in just nine of his 27 appearances.
Despite that brief tenure with the Timberwolves, Rivers obviously has noticed the overall ability the team possesses. That includes a budding superstar in Anthony Edwards as well as veteran center Rudy Gobert.
Last season, the Timberwolves showed promise before falling to the Memphis Grizzlies during the playoffs. It was undoubtedly due to that promise that the team put together a blockbuster deal that helped acquire Gobert from the Utah Jazz.
When Towns was injured, a timeline for his return was estimated at between four to six weeks. That could get him back into the Timberwolves lineup by the middle of this month, though there’s no definitive return date as of yet.
Given his perspective as a well-traveled veteran who’s been part of seven different franchises during his time in the league, Rivers’ insight has credibility. Having grown up with a strong connection to the league, thanks to his father Doc, the younger Rivers is doing his best to keep the Timberwolves moving forward until the return of Towns.
After the Timberwolves’ game against the Nuggets, they host two more Western Conference foes over the next four days. The Portland Trail Blazers will be their opponent on Wednesday, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.