The Timberwolves allowed not one but two huge Grizzlies runs in Game 3 and ended up losing the match. But why didn’t Chris Finch call a timeout during Memphis’ 21-0 run in the third quarter?
The Minnesota Timberwolves had one of the biggest choke jobs in recent times against the Grizzlies in Game 3 of their their first-round playoff series.
The T-Wolves were in cruise control in the first half as they led by as many as 26. However, they then allowed the Grizzlies to go on a 15-0 run to cut the deficit to seven.
The same formula played out in the second half. Minnesota had a 25-point lead in the third quarter but squandered it down the stretch by allowing the Grizzlies to come back and win, 104-95.
Decision not to call timeout baffles NBA fans
One of the most egregious parts of the Timberwolves’ meltdown was the fact head coach Chris Finch failed to call a timeout while the Grizzlies were on a 21-0 run.
NBA fans couldn’t believe Finch didn’t call a timeout during that run to at least stem the flow of Grizzlies buckets and allow his players to reset.
Why didn’t Chris Finch call a timeout during the run?
Fans were understandably dumbfounded that Finch watched on from the sidelines without acting. In his post-match press conference, Finch explained the thought process behind his decision.
“(We) burned a lot (of energy) early so I was hoping we would just be able to kind of get through to the fourth (quarter) a little bit deeper beforehand,” he said on his decision to not call a timeout.
Finch had already used three timeouts in the second quarter when the Grizzlies made their first run – but at least he recognised the need to stop the bleeding.
He may have used more timeouts than he’d have wanted to, but a 21-0 run is surely the time to use another? It seemed clear his players needed a rest and tactical adjustments to slow down the Grizzlies’ offense.
Charles Barkley goes in on Timberwolves after loss
Of course the Inside The NBA crew were on hand to cover the game and not surprisingly, Charles Barkley didn’t hold back in his appraisal of the Timberwolves’ meltdown.
“I said it at half-time, this has got to be one of the dumbest teams. All that talent and they’re dumber than rocks,” he said of Minnesota.
“I’m so frustrated with this. One thing I can’t stand is stupidity on the basketball court. You can lose a game, but you can’t just go out there (and play like that).
“When you lose by two and blow a big lead… that was embarrassing for basketball. The coaching staff at Minnesota should be just as embarrassed as the players,” he added.
Memphis now lead the series at 2-1, with Game 4 taking place on Saturday (23 April) in Minneapolis.