Report: T-Wolves brought D’Angelo Russell to Lakers-Suns to see playoff atmosphere | Launderer report
Photo AP / Jim Mone
The Minnesota Timberwolves have reportedly asked guards D’Angelo Russell and Jaylen Nowell to attend Game 1 of the first round playoff series between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Timberwolves’ line of thought was that it “would show them what it’s like to play in a fast-paced field in the playoffs.”
The T-Wolves reportedly intend to continue sending players to big playoff games throughout the playoffs in order to allow them to “step back on what it takes to play at such a high level.”
Since reaching the playoffs in 2018, the Timberwolves have been among the worst teams in the NBA. They have posted three consecutive losing seasons, including a 19-45 mark in 2019-20.
Minnesota has shown some improvement this season, but went just 23-49, the third-worst record in the Western Conference ahead of only the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets.
Russell and Nowell got to watch two of the best teams in the NBA in the form of the second-seeded Suns and a Lakers team that won the NBA championship last season.
While Russell spent his first two NBA seasons with the Lakers as the No.2 pick in the 2015 draft, he never made the playoffs as a team member. He appeared in five games as a member of the Brooklyn Nets in 2019.
Meanwhile, Nowell has no playoff experience during his two NBA seasons with the T-Wolves. He was the team’s second-round pick in Washington.
Wolves have only had one playoff appearance as a franchise in the past 17 seasons, so bringing the playoff atmosphere to their players is a unique and potentially effective tool.
While the Timberwolves ultimately have to grow and improve as a unit on the court, making them more avid for playoff basketball can only be seen as a good thing.