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Timberwolves reserves averaging fewest minutes since 2009-10 NBA season

Tom Thibodeau

If there’s one thing that everyone knows about about Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau, it’s how he opts to manage the minutes of his players.

As a head coach in Chicago, the discussion around the minutes his starters played was always that they played too much. For two consecutive seasons, former Bulls star Jimmy Butler averaged over 38.7 minutes per game, per Basketball Reference, and played over 40 minutes in many of those.

Now as a member of the Timberwolves, Thibodeau doesn’t seem to have changed his ways with the starters. This season, his bench is averaging a comically low number of minutes, per Minnesota play-by-play announcer Dave Benz.

Thibodeau spent a year not coaching basketball after he was fired by the Bulls before he took on the job for the Timberwolves. In that year, he was visiting different teams and learning various things about the game of basketball.

But in all that time, he didn’t learn that playing his starters that many minutes would have adverse affects? So many other coaches purposely give their bench players minutes as a way to build their confidence should they be needed later in the season.

But not Thibodeau. He seems to above that.

It appears, however, that Butler had a recent gripe with the number of minute’s he’s been playing. See the video below for that.

Hopefully Thibodeau knows what he’s doing by playing his guys the way he is. Because if not, he’ll be out of a job sooner than later.