The last weekend of Timberwolves basketball for the season is finally upon us. Feel the excitement!
What To Watch For
On the same day that Kevin Garnett gets enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame, the team that drafted him many years ago (Minnesota) squares off against the team that he helped bring a championship trophy to (Boston). The timing of Wolves/Celtics (which tips off at 1:00pm CST today) lines up perfectly with the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which is scheduled to begin at 4:30pm CST on ESPN.
No… Thank YOU, Big Ticket.
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) May 14, 2021
Anytime Kevin Garnett is involved in something, it’s likely to be an emotional experience for everyone watching, and the 2021 Hall of Fame ceremony likely won’t be any different. In addition to The Big Ticket, this year’s Hall of Fame class includes storied names like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Tamika Catchings, and Rudy Tomjanovich. The Athletic’s David Aldridge put together a great piece on this year’s class that is definitely worth a read on this lovely spring Saturday:
◻️ Barbara Stevens
◻️ Eddie Sutton
◻️ Kevin Garnett
◻️ Kim Mulkey
◻️ Kobe Bryant
◻️ Patrick Baumann
◻️ Rudy Tomjanovich
◻️ Tamika Catchings
◻️ Tim Duncan
“This will be one of the greatest classes ever inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) May 14, 2021
Not to be outdone, our own Jon Krawczynski put together this fantastic article on KG, including a multitude of untold stories from people who crossed paths with Garnett during his playing days:
-Zach LaVine on KG’s “Gladiator” tutorials
-Sam Mitchell on KG being really bad at gambling, really good at dancing
-Many on the quirks of one of the most superstitious players in the league
Ahead of his HOF induction, the untold stories of Kevin Garnetthttps://t.co/5q9BzRDCDd
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) May 14, 2021
Back to Wolves/Celtics — today’s matinee game is relatively meaningless for both participating franchises. We already know the Wolves have been eliminated from playoff contention for some time, but Chris Finch and his squad will continue to use these last two games to continue building chemistry and continuity as they hope for better and brighter days ahead.
As for Boston, it’s been a disastrous season filled with injuries, COVID-19 absences, and other issues, resulting in an underwhelming .500 record. The Celtics are firmly entrenched in the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference, which means they will be participants in the NBA’s play-in tournament later next week (likely against Charlotte Hornets or Indiana Pacers). Because this specific game has little meaning for Boston, many of the Celtics key rotation players will be sidelined due to rest or various injuries (more on that in a second).
Minnesota @Timberwolves Status Report in advance of tomorrow’s game vs. Boston
Malik Beasley – Left Hamstring Injury
Jarrett Culver – Right Ankle Surgery
— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) May 14, 2021
Again, as mentioned at the top (and countless times over the last few weeks), the Timberwolves have made it well-known that they have no intentions of “tanking” their remaining games. This means that all of the team’s main rotation players (excluding Malik Beasley) will suit up later today against the Celtics, which will give fans (and the front office) another 48 minutes to see what exactly this team is building for the 2021-22 season.
As of now, there have been no indications publicly or privately that the Wolves will sit anyone in their final game of the season on Sunday, but if they do, Saturday will give fans the last opportunity to see this team live before they head off for summer vacation.
#NEBHInjuryReport vs. Minnesota (2/2):
Tristan Thompson (Left Pectoral Strain) – OUT
Kemba Walker (Left Cervical Nerve Irritation) – OUT
Robert Williams (Left Foot, Turf Toe) – OUT
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 14, 2021
On the Boston side of things, their injury report is pretty wild. Jaylen Brown is out for the year after suffering a torn ligament in his wrist, and while he is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of next season, his absence will put a ton of pressure on 23-year old Jayson Tatum to carry the Celtics when the postseason begins. Besides Brown, the Celtics will also be without Marcus Smart, Tristan Thompson, Kemba Walker, and Robert Williams, which means we should see a large dose of Boston’s two rookies (Payton Pritchard and Aaron Nesmith).
Have a great Saturday, enjoy some matinee basketball, and Go Wolves.