Report: Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns constantly questioned Tom Thibodeau’s defensive schemes

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

During his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tom Thibodeau reportedly received pushback from Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins when trying to instill his defensive principles.

Thibodeau is now the head coach of the New York Knicks, but the Athletic’s Zach Harper explained how Towns and Wiggins responded to Thibodeau’s defensive-minded approach.

“Thibodeau’s defensive schemes and principles were questioned constantly by Towns and some of the younger guys,” Harper wrote. “Towns would often hearken back to how things were done in his year at Kentucky. Wiggins displayed mostly apathy toward that end of the floor beyond the simplicity of on-ball defense. His beckoning and bellowing for playing defense the way he wanted often fell on deaf or unwilling ears.”

This season, Towns and the Timberwolves have the worst record in the NBA at 7-29.

As for Thibodeau, he has the Knicks at 19-18 through the first half of the season, and New York is the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks are second in the NBA in defensive rating at 108.1, and they seem to have bought into Thibodeau’s scheme.

While Towns is still in Minnesota, Wiggins was dealt to the Golden State Warriors last season.

Thibodeau is just two seasons removed from his time in Minnesota, and it would have been interesting to see if the team would have succeeded if all of the players bought into his defensive scheme.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.