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At 20-43, the Oklahoma City Thunder need all the help they can get to stop a competent Minnesota Timberwolves squad.
Surely the Thunder didn’t plan it this way, but OKC general manager Sam Presti might not have to look any further than some in-house candidates in free agency next season — or perhaps to use one of his war chest of draft picks on.
Allow me to explain.
Late in the third quarter of what would be the Timberwolves third straight win, Jordan McLaughlin recorded a steal on an attempted hand-off by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander which went awry. McLaughin ran free for an easy lay-up, but the Thunder mop-up crew was in the way.
The Wolves broadcast team was irate a technical foul wasn’t called, as McLaughlin would’ve scored an easy two points on the other end.
Oklahoma City Thunder mop-up crew gets in the way
In the end, one bucket didn’t make much of a difference. If anything, the Wolves used it as motivation, eventually taking down the Thunder by a final score of 138-101.
Presti seems very content to lose every game the Thunder are meant to lose in hopes of improving his team’s draft stock.
The Timberwolves, meanwhile, sit in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference standings. Winners of three straight, they’re just two games behind the Denver Nuggets for the six seed. Catching Denver would place Minnesota out of the play-in tournament, a fate they’d surely prefer if they can secure it.