The Minnesota Timberwolves lost their 4th straight game on Tuesday night by giving up another double-digit lead to the San Antonio Spurs. That marks the 18th time they have lost when winning by ten or more points during a game (most in the NBA).

The 8th seed has been up for grabs all season in the Western Conference, and with the amount of talent Minnesota has, it should be theirs for the taking. They have been playing the “youth card” for too long now, and it’s time to call them out for their failure of a season.

The Wolves are one of the most exciting young teams we have seen in quite some time. They displayed that against the Spurs, even during the loss.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are two of the most talented prospects we have in the NBA currently. Both can score thirty (or more) on any given night. KAT would have been an All-Star if the teams record wasn’t so poor.

And before he tore his ACL, Zach Lavine was proving doubters wrong, and showing that he was going to be a force in this league for years to come, averaging just under 19 points a game. When all three played together though, their record was a disappointing 16-31. They also have other young exciting talent like Kris Dunn, Shabazz Muhammad, and Tyus Jones.

Their defensive ineptness is a huge reason for the bad season they are having. Towns and Wiggins have some of the worst defensive real plus-minus stats by their position. Towns is ranked 66th out of 68 eligible Centers, and Wiggins is ranked 78th out of 81 eligible small forwards. For two players who have the athletic gifts to be the top defenders at their positions, this is shameful to say the least.

Being sloppy with the basketball has also been a huge problem for them, and that was exhibited last night.

The Spurs were able to score 35 points off of 23 turnovers by Minnesota on Tuesday. Being disciplined with the basketball is predicated mostly on mental focus. The Wolves have an experienced point guard in Ricky Rubio, and talented players who should do much better at taking care of the ball. They also have a coach in Tom Thibodeau who has taken pride in being one of the most disciplined, defensive-oriented coaches in the NBA.

The Wolves have the supreme talent, and an elite NBA coach in most people’s eyes. This season has been wasted due to simple numerous mental lapses on the defensive side of the ball, and carelessness with the ball offensively. We have seen teams led by young players make it into the playoffs. This season for Minnesota has been a setback. The Timberwolves need to develop a no excuse mentality, and simply play up to what their talent demands.

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