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#pounditTuesday, November 30, 2021

Articles tagged: Karl-Anthony Towns

Ranking the 10 best big men in the NBA

DeMarcus Cousins

Big men are a dying breed … except when they aren’t. Hail to this era of seven-footers who dribble like guards, jump like pogo sticks, and shoot their shots from deep like drunk texts at 3 AM. And here are the ten bigs leading that charge right now, not counting those who missed the cut due to injury (Rudy Gobert, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap, Hassan Whiteside, and Nikola Jokic).

*Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference and NBA.com*

10. Kevin Love, PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers

Love being the Joe Biden to LeBron James’ Obama sure has a nice ring to it. A lot of dominoes did have to fall for our favorite Banana Republic model to even be in this position: Kyrie Irving moving to Boston to flatten dreams, Tristan Thompson getting injured, and Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose both being unavailable for one reason or another. But Love has barreled in headfirst through his new window of opportunity, slaughtering defenses with his smoldering three-point shooting from the 5 spot and proving just as effective at smoking smaller players who switch onto him down low. As Cleveland’s undisputed No. 2 option offensively, he is once again a nightly 20-10 threat just like those halcyon Minnesota days. Whether you need a 38-point half or a 94-foot touchdown pass, it’s obvious that my man is a Love supreme.

9. Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves

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Each NBA team’s most important player

Kawhi Leonard

The mother of all NBA seasons is almost here. So as you finalize your League Pass subscriptions, complete your fantasy drafts, and prepare the guacamole for your watch parties, take some time to ponder the true meaning of the season — specifically, the benevolent stars who make such a joyous holiday possible with their prodigious athletic talents.

Here I present, each NBA team’s most important player heading into 2017-18:

Atlanta Hawks — Dennis Schroder, PG

“All my friends are dead,” said Schroder in his best Lil Uzi Vert voice as he gazed upon his roster following the respective exits of his last remaining All-Star teammates in Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard this summer. Yes, the Hawks are now as thin as a toothpick, and the incentive for them to “Do Badly for Bagley” or “Make The Fans Puka for Luka” will be enormous. But someone has to lead this JV squad, and their resident German is as good of an option as any. Perhaps we will see Dennis the Menace gun for 20 and 10. Maybe he develops some nice pick-and-roll chemistry with new additions Dewayne Dedmon and rookie John Collins. Perhaps he finally bleaches his entire head blonde. Anything to give this team a modicum of watchability this season.

Boston Celtics — Kyrie Irving

After selling an arm, a leg, and a hip for him this summer, the Celtics will hope that Irving’s performance in his first season with them does not fall flat. The outside noise in Uncle Drew’s ear will be deafening — mockery of his decision to ditch LeBron James and go off in search of his own empire, jeers at the perceived stagnation of his playmaking skills, pervasive meme treatments of his unorthodox views on astronomy. But Irving is here for one reason and one reason only: to ball out. And that’s what he’s gonna do. Just remember kids, there’s no such thing as distractions when you’re very much woke. [mic drop]

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Ranking the 20 best players in the Western Conference

Let’s just go right ahead and state the obvious here: this is not your father’s Western Conference. Not anymore. Gone are the days of sophisticated battles of equal parts brains and brawn. Dead and buried are the cordial, gentlemanly competitions of X’s and O’s that generations prior enjoyed and romanticized. With the defection of no fewer than four current or former Eastern All-Stars this summer to what was already the NBA’s far superior conference, the era of all-out war is officially upon us. Blitzkrieg strikes will illuminate the heavens, campaigns of attrition will be waged, and rivers everywhere will run red with blood as what had previously been known as the West now makes way for the Wild Wild West. But instead of Buffalo Bill Cody and Wyatt Earp, this battle will be fought be a more familiar cast of characters. And what a privilege you and I will have to enjoy front row seats as hostilities commence in 2017-18.

Ladies and germs, may I present a comprehensive ranking of the 20 best players in the Western Conference (with sincerest apologies and honorable mentions to DeAndre Jordan, C.J. McCollum, Andrew Wiggins, and newly-christened Westerner Carmelo Anthony, all of whose respective nits proved impossible not to pick when wading through a talent pool this deep). This is part of a series, as we also ranked the 20 best players in the Eastern Conference previously.

20. Marc Gasol, C, Memphis Grizzlies

When he’s not sashaying like Conor McGregor or slinging shade in Catalan, Gasol continues to further his standing as one of the more undervalued bigs in the NBA. The former Defensive Player of the Year quietly posted career-highs in points (19.5) and assists per game (4.6) last season while playing his usual stout D. Yes, Father Time’s kiss may not be far off with Gasol set to turn 33 in January. But for now, I say long live those paint-protecting fundamentals and them elegant sweeping hooks from the mid-post. Me encanta la Gasol-ina.

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Karl-Anthony Towns says it is only ‘a matter of time’ before he is best player in NBA

Karl-Anthony Towns is feeling himself heading into his third NBA season.

In a recent interview with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, the Minnesota Timberwolves big man said he believes he can be the best player in the league.

“My confidence has always been so high. I felt coming into the league I could be that easily,” said Towns. “I always knew it was just a matter of time.

“But before I was even drafted, I felt I had that ability, faith and confidence in myself to do that regardless to what team I’m with,” he continued. “I’m very blessed to be with the Timberwolves, because with them I’ve expedited that process a lot.”

It’s a claim that may seem like a stretch to some, but Towns’ development and overall talent at just 21 years old is remarkable. He averaged 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks a game last year and can post up, hit a jumper, or go off the dribble, all with equal potency. Towns also has some high hopes for his team as a whole, so you gotta love the confidence heading into the new season.

Karl-Anthony Towns expects Timberwolves to make deep playoff run

Karl-Anthony Towns has quite the hot take about his Minnesota Timberwolves for next season.

In an interview with Peter Walsh of SLAM Online that ran on Monday, Towns said that he expects the team to make a deep run in the 2018 postseason.

“I expect us to be in the playoffs and I expect us to compete in the playoffs and have Minnesota rocking not just for one round, but for multiple rounds,” said the former No. 1 overall pick. “We have a lot of faith in ourselves that this is something that we can do and we have a coaching staff behind us and great teammates. I think we have something truly special here.”

Towns made a similar prediction around this time last year.

While he certainly did his part with 25.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game in 2016-17, the Wolves finished just 31-51, ten games out of the playoffs. They went out and added the likes of Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Jamal Crawford, and Taj Gibson this summer however and have since become a popular sleeper pick in the West. Thus, it’s hard to knock Towns for the optimism about his team.

Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns reportedly recruiting Irving to Minnesota

Kyrie Irving

If Kyrie Irving is on the trade market, then Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns want the Timberwolves to get involved.

In an lengthy article discussing Irving’s meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers to request a trade, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Butler and Towns have been recruiting Irving to Minnesota. Windhorst further says that the players made the team’s management aware that they want Irving.

The Timberwolves were among the teams Irving reportedly would be open to joining. The Spurs, Knicks and Heat are also on his list.

Even if the Timberwolves want Irving and he has interest in joining them, putting together such a deal is a lot easier said than done.

The Cavaliers would demand a lot of talent in return and require salaries to match up. One player who would make sense in such a deal is Jeff Teague, who was signed as a free agent this month. But he can’t be traded until mid-December because of league rules. The T-Wolves would also only have so much money to go around given what is owed to Butler and Gorgui Dieng, and what Andrew Wiggins would see coming when he is eligible for an extension.

Regardless, just to have their team be a part of these kinds of conversations shows just how far the Timberwolves have come, and that has to be encouraging for the franchise.

Karl-Anthony Towns trolls Joel Embiid over NBA 2K rating

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns is trying to start the greatest young big man rivalry that never was.

Towns was the latest basketball star to react to his NBA 2K18 rating this week, and upon hearing that he had received a 91, his first thought was to his Philadelphia 76ers counterpart Joel Embiid.

“I can’t wait to tell Joel,” said Towns. “I have nothing to complain about.

“I do trust the process on that one,” he added. “I do trust the process.”

Embiid, who himself got an 86 rating, was noticeably less pleased with it. But Towns has a rich history of friendly trolling, and throwing Embiid’s “trust the process” line back in his face may be the ex-No. 1 overall pick’s finest work yet.

Karl-Anthony Towns responds to All-NBA snub

The All-NBA teams were announced on Thursday and, as usual, there were a few snubs. Among them was Karl-Anthony Towns.

In his second NBA season, Towns averaged 25.1 points (on 54 percent shooting), 12.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game for the Timberwolves. In another year, that would probably be good enough for a spot on one of the three All-NBA teams. This year, however, was not the year. Here’s who did make it.

After finding out he was not included, Towns took to Twitter with a sleeping emoji.

Fellow second-year player (and teammate at Kentucky) Devin Booker offered his support for Towns’ inclusion.

The way he’s progressing, Towns likely won’t have many more seasons in the near future where he’s not a member of an All-NBA team. He wasn’t the only one to question the selections, though. Draymond Green stuck for teammate Klay Thompson with these comments about it.

Karl-Anthony Towns’ father may sue Timberwolves after getting injured in mascot stunt

Leave it to Crunch the Wolf to drive a wedge between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the family of their franchise center.

According to Michael McCann of SI’s The Crossover on Friday, Karl Towns Sr, the 54-year-old father of reigning Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns, is considering filing a lawsuit against the Timberwolves for negligence after suffering a significant knee injury in a stunt by the team’s mascot.

The stunt occurred in the second quarter of a home loss to the Indiana Pacers on January 26. The mascot sledded down an aisle in the Target Center during a timeout and lost his balance at the end of the descent, colliding with an empty front row seat that, in turn, struck the right knee of the elder Towns, who was sitting next to the empty seat.

Towns Sr. reportedly suffered “considerable” pain and swelling in the knee. The retired high school basketball coach did wind up staying in the arena until the game was over for fear of affecting his son’s performance with his absence, but he was ultimately brought to a nearby hospital for an MRI.

It’s definitely not the first mascot mishap we’ve seen over the years, but it could certainly prove to be the most costly if a messy legal battle does ultimately ensue between family and team.

Karl-Anthony Towns takes shot at Kentucky basketball

The Kentucky men’s basketball team has struggled over its last several games, and even a win wasn’t enough to satisfy John Calipari on Tuesday night. Unhappy with his team’s performance in a 92-85 victory over LSU, Calipari did not hold back in a postgame interview.

“If anybody wants to quit, they can quit,” the Wildcats coach said.

One of Calipari’s former players took note. Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns took a shot at this year’s Kentucky squad on Instagram with a comment directed toward fellow former Wildcat Devin Booker.

The Kentucky team Towns and Booker played for went undefeated during the regular season, eventually losing to Wisconsin in the Final Four and finishing with a record of 38-1. This year’s Wildcats have lost three of their last five, the most recent of which was an 88-66 blowout at the hands of Florida. Still, it’s not all that common for an alumnus to call out his former program publicly.

It’s no surprise Calipari is frustrated, especially when you see what some of his players were doing toward the end of their latest loss.