Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, the longest-tenured and highest-paid player on the team, is getting frustrated by Minnesota's latest losing streak.
Our Chris Hine captured his emotions after the most recent of the six consecutive losses, Wednesday at Golden State, and noted how they stood in contrast to teammates Anthony Edwards and D'Angelo Russell.
There's no doubt KAT has seen his share of losing in Minnesota. The Wolves are 173-245 in games he's played during his career here. In his early years, the losses were understandable and didn't necessarily fall on Towns' shoulders. But now?
As I talked about on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast, they do.
If he's tired of losing, Towns needs to play (and lead) better. He certainly needs to be accountable for a six-game losing streak instead of seeming to act like it's just something happening to him.
During the first four games of the streak, all of them at Target Center, the Wolves were outscored by 87 points when Towns was on the floor. They outscored opponents by 36 when he was off the floor. Plus-minus is a team stat in many ways, but that's a pretty compelling snap shot of how the season went off the rails.
As the Wolves built a 3-1 record through four games, including a promising win at Milwaukee, Towns had 10 blocked shots and looked like a key cog in an improving Wolves defense. During the losing streak, he has two blocked shots.
For the season, Towns is averaging 3.9 turnovers per game — 10th-most of any player in the league and the most of any center or power forward.
Maybe his whole game got hacked?
When the Wolves have struggled mightily in the fourth quarter, particularly in close games, Towns has often played a major role (even with his miracle tying three that merely delayed the inevitable loss against Memphis).
It's obviously not all about Towns. The Wolves roster is full of holes and imbalances that have torpedoed their chances, and Towns' co-star on the roster can't even legally drink yet.
A failure to secure a meaningful upgrade at power forward in the offseason, even as they knew that was a major roster weakness, is inexcusable and is directly related to their league-worst defensive rebound rate.
But the one true established star on the roster is the one who should lead the way out of a losing streak, not sink into its depths.