NBA

Timberwolves looking to 'maintain edge' at top of West after All-Star break

By Sports Desk February 20, 2024

The Minnesota Timberwolves are top of the Western Conference but know they will have to "maintain that edge" as they return to action following the NBA All-Star break.

Minnesota have not been beyond the first round of the playoffs in 20 years, yet they are in position to earn the number one seed through 55 games, boasting a 39-16 record and a 1.5-game lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The All-Star break has been a busy one for the T-Wolves, with Chris Finch coaching the West outfit, which included Anthony Edwards and team-mate Karl Anthony Towns, who scored 50 points.

The team have also agreed a two-year contract extension with guard Mike Conley Jr., according to reports. He had been set for free agency at the end of the season.

Finch is now hoping he will find a focused team in Minnesota as they seek to build on a superb start to the year.

"We've just got to try to pick up where we left off," he said. "We know the intensity in these games are going to ramp up more and more.

"We've got to make sure that we maintain that edge. We've done a good job of developing a good offensive rhythm in the past few weeks, so we've got to maintain that.

"Hold serve at home; we've got a lot of home games coming up here out of the break. There's lots of things we can do to keep furthering ourselves."

There was an unfamiliar feeling for Finch in the All-Star Game, seeing his team handily beaten by the East in an encounter that drew criticism for its lack of competitive play.

The format may no longer be widely popular, but Finch certainly enjoyed the rare opportunity to coach players like LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

"Looking around the locker room, there's probably 12 first-ballot Hall of Famers in there," he said. "It's something I'll remember forever."

The Timberwolves return against the Milwaukee Bucks at Target Center on Friday.

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