Timberwolves coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau, along with General Manager Scott Layden, held a season-ending news conference Monday. I attempted to do a fact-check of sorts on it, including:
•Thibodeau said Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins had "terrific years in terms of impacting winning." Verdict: Debatable. Towns certainly did, topping all Wolves players (including Jimmy Butler) in several advanced metrics. Wiggins, though, didn't fare well in both traditional and advanced stats.
The bigger question is whether Wiggins' output can be considered a sacrifice that contributed in some non-measurable way to victories … or if he was truly a liability, with the Wolves winning in spite of him.
I think the truth leans closer to the latter, but as Thibodeau said Monday, "I feel like I'm going to study the team harder than anyone else, so I'm going to have a better understanding of the team also."
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.