Derrick Rose and the Minnesota Timberwolves were dealt with a rough beatdown by the Milwaukee Bucks in their preseason finale, 143-121. Attribute the loss to the bad performance of each individual player, foul trouble, the lack of cohesiveness, or the Jimmy Butler trade distraction.
In any way you choose to see it, the Timberwolves are in a bad spot right now with that kind of momentum moving into the opener.
Rose chimed in on the matter, via ESPN's Chris Herring:
“Jimmy doesn't have anything to do with how hard we play out there. He's going to make up his mind soon, or they will make up their mind soon.”
“It's our job to go out there and make sure that pressure and intensity is there throughout the entire game.”
As professional basketball players, being in peak condition physically, mentally, and emotionally is required to be at the top of one's game. Although distractions are inevitable in the league, even with a stone-cold demeanor, it would be hard to act unaffected even in the slightest manner.
As a whole and on paper, the Timberwolves look like a solid team in the deep Western Conference. However, with all the trade drama regarding Butler and how the media circus spins things in and out of proportion, it is quite obvious that it is taking a toll on the team.
With everything slowly picking up for the Timberwolves, hopefully, they also get to pick up their stride at the beginning of the season before it is too late.