Karl-Anthony Towns: Wolves series against Suns 'most important of my career'

The Minnesota Timberwolves got back in the gym at Mayo Clinic Square on Wednesday for the first time since learning they would be facing the Pheonix Suns to open the Western Conference Playoffs.

Players say the practice was intense, but the atmosphere when media were allowed in was loose and full of laughter. The Timberwolves, after being the top team in the West most of the season, are the No. 3 seed after finishing 56-26, their best regular season record in 20 years. But it doesn’t mean much if they don’t make a postseason run.

So what will it take to beat the Suns in a seven-game series after they went 0-3 in the regular season?

"Just play our best basketball. We showed a lot of ourselves this year when we were looking our best offensively and defensively. It’s time to put it all together and be a better version of ourselves. Just figuring out what is going to be the best version of us against this team," Karl-Anthony Towns said. "We obviously haven’t found that image yet with them this year in the regular season, but no better time to figure it out than the postseason."

Towns said it’s the most important series of his career so far after leading the Timberwolves to the playoffs the last two years, only to have a first round exit. He’s back after missing 17 games with a torn meniscus. He got back on the court for the last two.

"We have a great chance to do something, there’s a lot on the line so we’ve got a lot to play for. We broke the hurdle of not making the playoffs, now the fans deserve more," Towns said. "We want to play more basketball."

The troubling part of three losses to Phoenix – they’ve had slow starts and all three have been by a combined 47 points. In early April, they got down 15-0 in the first quarter and never recovered.

In last Sunday’s regular season finale, the Timberwolves committed 19 first half turnovers and trailed 42-22 after the first quarter.

The Timberwolves have had time to chew on that result. Chris Finch called it a "coach’s dream."

"You get a chance to pick it apart, they’ve given us a body of work to build from. Get a chance to tear it apart, start putting it back together and come up with some answers. It feels like a football week," Finch said.

Game 1 is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Target Center, and Game 2 will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Timberwolves haven’t won a playoff series in 20 years.

"Intensity is a little hot and I think everybody is ready to go," Anthony Edwards said.