Karl-Anthony Towns is playing playoff basketball for just the second time in his carer this season. And things have gotten off to an excellent start, the Timberwolves beat the 2nd seed Memphis Grizzlies away from their home arena in the first game of the series. A large part of this was thanks to their stars turning up, both Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns played big minutes and delivered when it mattered.
Towns played nearly 43 minutes against the Grizzlies and as the Timberwolves try to pull off this upset, he will likely have to play similar minutes more often than not. Speaking at a press conference after the game, Towns addressed his minutes, making a joke at the expense of his former coach Tom Thibodeau while talking about the last time he was on the court for as long before Game 1 against the Grizzlies.
Reporter: "You talked about the offseason work you put in, are you pretty comfortable, if needed here, to play in the mid-40s?"
KAT: "When was the last time I played 43? No, I know when it was. Thibs!"
From 2016 to 2019, Tom Thibodeau coached the Minnesota Timberwolves, and that was the only time after the early 2000s that they managed to make it to the playoffs. While they enjoyed some success by the standards of the franchise, the Wolves players got the complete Thibs experience in the sense that everyone's minutes went up across the board.
KAT averaged 35.2 minutes per game during Thibodeau's tenure and it even went as high as 37 minutes per game in 2016-17. Considering the spectacular way the whole situation ended, Towns laughing about it now is understandable. In any case, the Wolves will have a chance to write a much brighter chapter this season if they can somehow upset the 2nd seed Memphis Grizzlies.