Tom Thibodeau is Running the Timberwolves' Starters Into the Ground

Tom Thibodeau is Running the Timberwolves' Starters Into the Ground

NBA

Tom Thibodeau is Running the Timberwolves' Starters Into the Ground

Jimmy Butler played 46-minutes in a overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night. He also took a season-high 33 field goal attempts. After the game, Butler, who played 40+ minutes for the 6th straight game, blamed the team’s conditioning.

Keep in mind that it has been less than a week since Butler said he would have to talk to Tom Thibodeau about the 40-minute games “starting to add up.” That conversation obviously did not take because Butler has played 41 and 46 minutes in the two games since then.

The Timberwolves are now 4-5 when Butler plays 40+ minutes. They’re 10-7 when he plays fewer than 40-minutes and 0-2 when he doesn’t play at all.

During the loss to the Sixers, four of five Wolves’ starters played 40+ minutes as Thibodeau continues to stick to an 8-man rotation. Taj Gibson only played 40-minutes, but that’s because he fouled out 33-seconds into overtime. This team will not stay healthy and will not continue to win if they don’t figure out a way to stretch this rotation. Thibs either needs to trust his bench or find someone to put on it that he does.

 

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