MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Detroit Pistons 118-105 on Sunday afternoon to complete a back-to-back sweep and improve to 28-25 on the season.
D’Angelo Russell had 22 points, eight assists and five rebounds in the win, and had some interesting things to say about Timberwolves’ fans after the team’s fourth straight win. Russell was asked about Patrick Beverley’s impact when he’s on the floor.
Beverley had 10 points and six rebounds in nearly 30 minutes on the floor, and is never shy about showing his emotion or engaging with fans courtside.
"I think the energy more than anything. It forces guys to want to turn their level of competition up, compete and it gets our quiet ass fans involved too," Russell said. "I think it’s good for us to have somebody like him, it kind of wakes people up."
So was Russell taking a shot at Timberwolves’ fans? It was a Sunday afternoon game at Target Center, with an announced attendance of 16,487. Sunday night on Fox 9 Sports Now, Jim Rich and Henry Lake talked about Russell's comments.
It’s more so a reminder that the fan base might need to see more proof before fully buying into the franchise. The Timberwolves are currently seventh in the Western Conference, one game behind the Denver Nuggets for the No. 6 spot.
The Wolves have made the NBA postseason once since Kevin Garnett took the team to the Western Conference Finals in 2004. That was in 2017-18 with a roster centered around Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler, and it ended in a first round loss to the Houston Rockets.
What can’t be ignored is the progress the Timberwolves are making under Chris Finch. Their 28 wins already matches or exceeds their win total for eight seasons since that run to the Western Conference Finals.