NEW ORLEANS — As the Timberwolves went on a three-game winning streak last week, some of their opponents took their losses to the Wolves as a moment for self-reflection. In some cases, it seems losing to the Wolves sent teams into a bit of a crisis.
For instance, after the Wolves beat the Kings on Wednesday, Sacramento forward Tristan Thompson let out some frustration in his postgame speech in which he criticized the team's lackluster performance on its 1-3 road trip against some of the weaker teams in the NBA.
"I was going on this road trip planning on going 4-0," Thompson told reporters. "The teams that we played against, OKC [Oklahoma City], they don't want to win games. They want to rebuild, everyone ... knows that. The Spurs, they have all young guys, they're trying to figure it out. ...
"Do they want to win games? Maybe, sure. But do they really want to be in the playoffs? Probably not, probably want a top-10 pick. Timberwolves? They've got names, but are they trying to win? Roll the dice and see what happens, figure out their roster."
On Sunday, the Kings decided to shake up their team and fired coach Luke Walton after two more losses to Toronto and Utah.
The Kings weren't the only team the Wolves bothered. After the Wolves beat the Spurs 115-90 on Thursday, forward Thaddeus Young said Monday the team had a closed-door meeting.
"We took that butt whooping and we went back into the locker room and we talked for 20, 30 minutes, the whole team," Young said, according to the San Antonio Express-News. "Everyone voiced their issues and their points."
Young said the Spurs weren't completely trusting one another, especially on defense.
"We have to play for another," Young said.
The Wolves' last victory before beating the Kings and Spurs was against the Lakers, and even then, forward Anthony Davis had strong words following Minnesota's 24-point win.
"We got to decide who we want to be," Davis told reporters. "A championship team? That's not us right now. We're not winning a championship the way we're playing."
Losing to the Wolves sounds like one of the worst things a team could do right now.
Reid playing through pain
Center Naz Reid has been in and out of the lineup recently because of right foot soreness. He missed last Monday's game against Phoenix, then played Wednesday against Sacramento. He sat out Thursday against San Antonio only to come back and play Saturday against Memphis.
On Monday, Reid was back on the floor, even if not 100% healthy.
"Still some pain, but enough for me to play through it," Reid said. "Before, it was a little more pain. So it was hard for me to move around in my shoes. So the past few days I've been getting treatment and things like that, so it feels a little bit easier to work through it."
Reid added it was hard for him to put on shoes last week, but he said he didn't have too many limitations in the game thanks to the adrenaline he generates.
Guard Josh Okogie (back spasms) missed his fourth consecutive game.
Finch back in New Orleans
Coach Chris Finch spent three seasons as an assistant in New Orleans and said he "loved it here." This was his second game back as Wolves head coach, and he said the Pelicans had a unique setup in which they shared an athletic campus with the Saints, whose home stadium, the Superdome, is next to the Pelicans' arena.
"You go to work with an NFL team every day. I felt like I was in sports school," Finch said. "The city is one of America's best in terms of being so unique, great food, great culture, always something going on. I really liked my time here."