The Timberwolves suspended center Rudy Gobert in Tuesday’s play-off game against the Lakers after he threw a punch at teammate Kyle Anderson during a stoppage in Minnesota’s win over New Orleans on Sunday, league sources said. the athlete. Here’s what you need to know:
- Suspension for one match. Gobert will return for the next game – either Friday’s Play-In Tournament or the first round of the playoffs if Minnesota wins Tuesday.
- Replays showed that Joubert had thrown the punch after he and Anderson had exchanged words. A jab connected to Anderson’s left shoulder and Joubert was immediately grabbed by his team mates and stepped between the two.
- Joubert was sent home after the incident, which occurred shortly before halftime in which the Timberwolves trailed the Pelicans in a game that had implications for game position. Minnesota forward Jaden McDaniels announced that the Minnesota forward hit a tunnel wall as he was exiting the game and fractured his right hand.
- The Timberwolves, the No. 8 team in the West, will earn a seventh seed with a win over Los Angeles, or they will go into the playoffs against the 9-10 winner with a loss.
What does this mean for the Timberwolves-Lakers?
The short-term effect of Joubert’s suspension may not be as harmful as it may seem at first. He was hampered by back spasms on Sunday, so there was a question as to whether he would be healthy enough to play against the Lakers anyway.
If he had been healthy, the Timberwolves would have benefited greatly from his size and rebounding against the imposing Lakers’ frontline with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Jarred Vanderbilt. But if he’s as limited in his movement as he was against the Swans, it might be better for Wolves to sit him out and go with Carl Anthony Towns at centre. The senior squad with Townes and Joubert have had their share of difficulties this season. In some ways, the wolves seemed to be more resilient when one of them was on the ground. The Wolves would be much worse defensively without Joubert, but would likely be much better on offense with Towns at 5. Nathan Knight could see a few minutes against the Lakers as another powerhouse with Joubert and Naz Reid (broken wrist). – Krawczynski
How does this affect Joubert’s future
The long-term effect of the suspension is more complex. The way the team responded to Goubert’s punch, with Taurian Prince arriving to help Anderson, Mike Connelly then saying that his teammates should take Anderson’s criticism quickly rather than personally and Chief of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly decided to send Goubert home at the halfway point. All of the matches point to the need to address the very real chemistry issues this team has faced all season.
His fitness has not been as smooth as the team expected when he gave up five players and four first-round picks last summer. Joubert has been playing better since the Wolves traded D’Angelo Russell for Conley at the trade deadline, but unless this team finds some consistency and success in the playoffs, there should be some real conversation about the viability of the roster as it is currently constructed heading into this summer. – Krawczynski
It looks like the Timberwolves are poised to get over him
As disappointed as the Timberwolves were with Gobert’s reaction in the moment, there was a real feeling in the locker room after the game that the guys were ready to move on. Anderson said he was sure he and Joubert could get over it, saying “It’s not the first time someone has taken a swing at me.” Joubert soon apologized for his part in the quarrel. The Timberwolves have generally weathered adversity well this season and the players have not viewed this as an existential crisis, but rather just another bump in the road that they have navigated all year. – Krawczynski
(Photo: David Berding/Getty Images)
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