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How his loss impacts the Minnesota Timberwolves’ fight in the West

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How his loss impacts the Minnesota Timberwolves’ fight in the West

The Minnesota Timberwolves hit with Karl-Anthony Towns’ meniscus injury

Very bad news for The Minnesota Timberwolves within a season that had been a dream: Karl-Anthony Towns has suffered a meniscus injury and will be out indefinitely. A very hard blow for Chris Finch’s team and for the Dominican himself, the centerpiece of one of the best teams in the competition.

Next, we review everything we know about Towns’ injury and how this can impact Minnesota and the Western Conference in general.

What injury did Karl-Anthony Towns suffer and when will he return?

On the 7th of March, Shams Charania reported that Karl-Anthony Towns suffered a torn meniscus in the left leg which will keep him out of action for an indefinite time. On average, and although in all cases it depends on the severity and type of injury, meniscus tears usually take between 6 and 8 weeks of recovery. However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski’s report, Towns and his team are seeking other opinions and they analyze whether it is necessary to take action immediately or if there is the possibility of continuing to play with the injury.

It is worth remembering that Joel Embiid suffered this injury at the end of January and still has not been able to recover. Taking into account that the Regular Phase ends on April 14th, if the tear is confirmed, it seems highly unlikely that Towns will play on it again, while a potential return in the Playoffs will depend on how far Minnesota advances.

How Towns’ injury impacts Minnesota and the West

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At the time of Towns’ release, the Timberwolves had the best record in the Western Conference, along with Oklahoma City: 43 wins and 19 losses. Of course, the Dominican has been at the center of that power, especially in attack, averaging 22.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3 assists and 51% from the field.

Towns’ importance to Minnesota is even greater, considering the limited options your attack has. Out of the 26 average points of Anthony Edwards and the 22 of KAT, no one else exceeds 13 units. The other three starters, Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley y Jaden McDaniels, are known for their defensive impact or in Conley’s case, driving solidity, but they are far from being able to carry a second option scoring role just as Towns did behind Edwards.

The Timberwolves have played until Towns’ injury 306 possessions without the Dominican but with his others four starters on the field -with Naz Reid or Kyle Anderson taking the former Kentucky’s place. The offensive performance in those sections has been simply abysmal: 100.3 points per 100 possessions, a ridiculously low mark.

To put that number into context, the Memphis Grizzlies have the worst offensive rating in the NBA and they write down 107.4 points every 100 possessions.

The sample of 306 possessions is relatively low, but the performance goes hand in hand with the logic: Without Towns, Minnesota simply doesn’t have enough scorers. And although it maintains – and even enhances – its exceptional defensive dominance, it is difficult to imagine a quintet so limited in attack, advancing deep in the Playoffs.

If a prolonged withdrawal of Towns is confirmed, it would take the Timberwolves out of the real West race -at least until the Dominican is back-. Even with their excellent Regular Phase, there were already some doubts about Minnesota’s potential in the Playoffs, but without their second best player, those questions will become certainties. And not exactly the good ones.

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