Before Karl-Anthony Towns contracted COVID and missed 13 games between January and February as he battled the virus, Towns had missed seven games because of a dislocation in his left wrist.
Before he sat out because of COVID, Towns was trying to find a way to play through the injury and had played in two games against the Spurs and Grizzlies in January.
Towns suffered the injury after a hard fall in a win at Utah on Dec. 26 and while Towns was out the last month, it at least meant he didn't have to tax his left wrist, the same one he fractured a season ago.
Towns seemed to favor the wrist a few times in Wednesday's 134-128 overtime loss to the Pacers and after the game he addressed how it feels.
"I'm still not recovered from it whatsoever," Towns said. "It was one of those days I fell on it one too many times in a bunch of weird ways and it caused a lot of pain. But it is what it is. Have to go out there and just trying to be the best I can be in whatever position I'm in."
It appeared Towns was wearing a wrap on it, but prior to his COVID absence, Towns sat the tail end of back to back games in January as he was working his way back.
His wrist at least felt fine enough that Towns played on consecutive nights this week.
Beasley misses walkthrough
Malik Beasley did not start Wednesday, and instead came off the bench. That was discipline for Beasley missing a walkthrough earlier in the day. It didn't affect Beasley's minutes overall in the game — he led the team with 41 minutes and scored 31 points.
"I made a mistake," Beasley said. "I got consequences for that. I let my team down and I got to make it up. That's what the consequence was. Come off the bench, so I apologize to the team for that."
Towns discusses defense
Towns can sometimes give long answers in his media sessions, and when he was asked about his commitment to defense this season, Towns gave such an answer that talked about what's different for him at that end of the floor. His answer revealed something about having continuity on the coaching staff.
"I feel like just because I've been fortunate enough to have the second year with the same coaching staff, same system," Towns said. "Just being older. Just getting older. Seeing more and more offenses. Seeing more NBA offenses. Seeing a lot of these guys multiple times. You understand little things that you may have not understood before. Also mentally I've been more engaged and more focused on that end. And I just know how young we are. It starts with me."
Towns said he has implored the team to have better communication on that end, especially the guards, who can help Towns with what may be coming toward the hoop.
"Because with a young team comes a lot of miscommunication, and I gotta do my part to alleviate as much miscommunication as possible on the defensive end," Towns said. "So there's always a constant communication of the defensive side. What we see. What is the opponent doing? How are they changing up their offense to match our defense, to exploit our hole. How can we fix them? How can we cover each other on the defensive end. So, to answer your question long-winded, yeah, I'm more engaged defensively. That's where I really care about the most."
Towns wasn't done though. He wanted to add one more thing.
"We got to set the standard and we got to set the culture of what the Wolves want to be," Towns said. "And if we wanna be what we say we wanna be, and we want to change the direction of where this organization is going, and how this season is going, there has to be a standard and a foundation set. I feel the foundation needs to be more focused on the defensive end. The offense will take care of itself. I've said that preseason to you guys. I'm gonna repeat it again now. If we can get the defense right, we can be special."