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May 29, 2024 22 mins
The Wolves forced a Game 5 on Tuesday night, so coach Chris Finch was ready to join PA to kick off the show on Wednesday morning!
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Episode Transcript

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Shall we begin. I know we'regonna beat them. Clown fire away nine
too new, you, Homer.They can smell it stopping, stopping,

stopping, it's falling down. Soyou're telling me there's a chance. You

know, the NBA is really tough, and these guys are really good,
and Dallas has two really good closers, so you know, they're able to
make tough shots down the stretch,and they've been able to win games in
these series by doing that, youknow, regardless of how they played during
the game. So we just gotto try to contain those two. I
think we did a good job tonight, try to contain Jones Junior, PJ.
Washington. They're playing really well forthem, and you know, I

think we'll be in good shakes.And indeed our Minnesota Timberwolves, well they're
in shape. Good shape is onething. In shape is another. And
we welcome you to the stay inthe live edition of nine to Noon on
a beautiful Wednesday, and I'm Paulallen Or to produces, and we're happy

to be joined by Chris Finch,coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rice Picks
Daily Fantasy Made Easy provides Chris,along with second Harvest Heartland and two Harvest
dot Org. Chris as a boardmember for Second Harvest Heartland. Check out
the website if you get the opportunityto harvest dot Org. Well, coach,

welcome home and you guys are stayingalive. How are you feeling right
now? I feel good, man. I'm happy to get out of here
with a win last night. Ofcourse, played really well, philp We
can even play better, which isan exciting thing. But nothing more exciting
than be able to come home fora big game five in front of our
home fans. With with with thethe postgame press conference, Chris, were

were you a little EDGYE? Wereyou exhausted? I mean it seemed like
you you were a little edgy inthat press conference. Yeah, a little
edgie. You know, I thought, you know, I thought our guys
fought through a lot of adversity lastnight, and you know, I just
felt that we weren't getting the respectthat we deserve in this series from a

variety of, uh, you knowplaces, but mainly on the floor.
And was my intention coming into thegame last night was to, as I
said, inject the emotion into thegame and make sure that people out there
recognized that we were here to fight, and and and you said that in
the press and the postgame press conference, and and and just doubled down on

it that that your job was toinject emotion into the game last night.
What does that mean? Yeah?I mean, obviously, uh, I
knew our players would come out,we'd play every play hard and give it
our all. But I also hadn'tfelt that we've been getting in respect from
the officials that we deserve, youknow, as a team that's accomplished and

played the way we had, AndI wanted to make sure that I was
out there going to fight the fightfor our guys who were fighting the good
fight. So with the with withwith the te When Cap picked up number
five right in front of your bench, what was that more emotion injecting?
Or did do you think the elbowt PJ shouldn't have been called? No?

I mean that was I mean thatwas a Scott Foster. Uh,
you know, had had warned meearlier in the game, and I mean
that call. I haven't really lookedat it again, so I don't don't
know. I do know it lookeda lot like the the dantic foul on
the sixth foul for for cat.So I'm not sure how one goes one

way and the other goes the other. But but you know, I just
waved off down Scott Foster, whichis apparently a taboo thing, and he
hit me with the technico so yougot for the wave off? Yeah,
the wave off? All righty?Now did uh did you do any damage
to the knee bouncing around on thesideline? It was I mean I was

gonna start. Yeah, I appreciatethe concern. No, I mean,
listen, it's it's been. Theknee is good, the pain is way
down. Uh, it's more justgeneral discomfort. As you know, Mike
has done an incredible job, asthe whole staff has done. But as
I'm allowed to do and able todo more and more, you know,
I want to be you know,up front, engaged, get back to

some of the old you know routine. And I'm still not able to be
out in front coaching, just youknow, for safety reasons. I just
couldn't get out of the way ofsomething that happened in front of me again.
But you know, in the inhuddles and timeouts that kind of stuff,
you know, I can do moreand more and just being able to

be up and be present and youknow, have interesting conversations with officials.
That's like all things I think Ican do to help impact the game.
They're not into they're not interesting conversationswith officials. They're injecting emotion. That
that's you're you're the inject You're you'rethe emotion injecting coordinator. That uh,
that's not bad to have on theresume next to head coach. But but

seriously, you got Carl going withthose threes last night. How how massive
was that? And by the way, congratulations on that victory. Yeah,
thanks, I mean it's huge.I mean, listen, Carl got himself
going. He you know, hereally did. He played within the game.
Everything that he did came within theflow of the game. You know,

you know, coming into a gamelike that and particularly you know,
have not play that well in theseries, you know a lot of players
would be super antsy, you know, try to chase the game and kind
of maybe try to do too much. He didn't. He stayed within the
flow, and you know, Ithought he turned down a few shots maybe
in the first half, but that'sokay. You know, he drove,

he made some good play and thenyou know, just stayed ready and then
we started kind of featuring them alittle bit more on some things in the
third quarter that got him going abit, and an Aunt started finding him
and Kyle, you know, Kylewas screening for him and everybody, and
so it was, you know,it was really Cat. It was Cat's
mindset, it was his composure,it was his willingness to let the game

to him, and then when itdid, he took full control. And
Chris in game four when when Imean Kat couldn't hit anything, and and
you kept him in and let himtry to shoot through it, which I
thought was really cool. It isit just a matter of confidence and time
before the Gift did shoot their waysout of slumps. I mean, you

know, it's too good of aplayer to to, you know, not
play really really well. And he'splayed really well for us in the previous
two series, been a huge partof the reasons that we've won those,
both offensively and defensively. And whatI would say is this, you know,
we've always felt this is going tobe a long series, doesn't matter

what you know, down oh three, down one to three, whatever it
is, And you know you haveto stay confident in your guys. And
we finished Game two with Nabs becausehe was on a heater, and that
was just the right thing to do. That's what the game told us to
do. In Game three, youknow, not played played well, but

we had to get Cat into theseries somehow, and you know, we
had to stay confident. He hadto know that we still believed in him.
And he's finished ninety five percent ofthe games that we've played, so
it's literally a vote of confidence morethan it was anything. And in some
small way, maybe that voter confidencepaid off to the last night's result,
you know, and and and withwith with Karl Anthony Towns and the fouls

is the preach to him just todo his very best to avoid the ticky
tech stuff for which he always getscalled. I mean that that that foul
trouble seemed to seem seemed to workon your last nerve last night. Yeah,
listen, I mean, you know, he gets a lot of offensive
fouls, and that's what I thinkcompounds the foul trouble sometimes with him,

the offensive fouls, you know,other than his his fifth foul, which
maybe you know, he kind ofstepped outside of the cylinder a little bit.
You know, he got two charges. I didn't think one was a
charge. One might have been acharge, but the one that happened early
in the game, I was like, I'm not going to challenge that because
I didn't think I'm gonna win it. And Matsield thing about these challenges like

they might you know, the likethe referees willingness to overturn their own calls
is something that you have to factorin, like, Okay, who made
the call? How often does thatguy overturn his own calls when he goes
to the monitor. These are things, right, you know, we know,
we know, we know Foster isone that overturns his own calls at
the lowest rate in the league.But I still challenged one of his calls

when Anthony had a steal because Ithought, you know it was Anthony.
It would have been our ball andAnthony's fourth, so it was a high
leverage situation. I thought we couldwin, and I thought we should have
won. But having said that,you know, Cats, our cats offensive
files were you know, the goodkind, if you will. They weren't
like hooks and plales and you knowthat kind of stuff. And yeah,
I mean like you know, he'sgoing to have some tick a tack defensive

ones from time to time. Buthe did a really good job. I
think the most important thing was hisfoul troubles. He played through it.
You know, he was able toplay through it, and we took him
out. We almost took him outrather and then he got an A and
one. I think Gorey got fouled, and you know, we left him
in and then he got got ona little roll after that. Christ bench
coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, niceenough to join nine to noon the morning

after an elimination staving victory by theTimberwolves, still trailing Dallas three one in
the Western Conference Finals and to Gamefive is tomorrow night at Target Center and
on k f A m uh coachDallas and like Phoenix, Dallas bites a
lot on those Edwards drives and kicksto the corner for the threes? What

what? What? What leads tocalling that play? And do you like
want to call it all the time? It was terrific last night. Well,
there're a lot of different ways thatwe try to get Anthony to the
heart of the defense, and thenwe rely on Anthony to make the right
play, and I thought down thestretch he did an outstanding job and most
of the second half. To befair, you know, he came into

this to the game with an aggressivemindset. He was not going to go
out without giving its all. Beingaggressive with with with Tamam Milson, you
know, means getting up as manyshots as he possibly can. And he
set the tone for us and wewere up big on you know to start,
or up you know ten to startas a result of that. Then

you know, then as the halfwar on, first half war on,
you know, they just started sendingmore and more bodies and we looked at
some things that at halftime where wefelt we could counter that, and he
did a really good job of adjustingand then created a lot of buckets for
his teammates in the second half.Is part of being a head coach or

a successful head coach. I mean, you got a team in the Western
Conference finals, man, yet notdwelling. And what I'm getting getting that
is like in Game two, theMAVs were just begging to be blown out.
I mean, you guys had themthirteen fifteen, eighteen thirteenth for the
longest time that they got blown outin that Clippers series. They got blown
out once in the OKC series almosttwice, and so you can't dwell on

that, right, But they werebegging to be blown out in Game two,
weren't they. Yeah, I meanwe had them. I think that's
the game two is the pivot gamefor sure, you know, whether it
be the blow in the big leador or or getting beat at the buzzer
with the daunted shot. But youknow, you can't dwell on it.
Every game has its own personality.You know, what's what happened yesterday is

unrelated to what will happen tomorrow,and that cuts both ways. You know,
we're still backs against the wall.Got to come out fight and stay
with the play with the same desperationand intention that we played with last night.
But yeah, you got to havethe ability to move on. And
you know, it's a really reallygreat team that we're playing in. You

know, not they're not just they'renot the fifth best team in the Western
Conference. I mean since the tradedeadline, they've they've been top four in
offense and defense with the with thegreat the best points differential amongst the starting
five them, They've they've been areally, really great job of remaking their
team midseason, and they're easily they'reeasily a top you know three team in

the West if you think about it. So and they have two great players
that are playing at a high leveland able to close games with either of
them. So you know, lossis hurt. They certainly do. It's
been an unbelievable series. If you'rejust a fan of basketball NBA basketball,
you know, when you're in it, obviously, you know, and you

come up short, you know,you got to keep going back and figuring
it out. But but yeah,you got to move on from what just
happened and try to, you know, come up with a new game plan.
But you can't dwell on the resultsof it all. K Kyle Anderson
man is so smart. I mean, he got, you know, one
of those threes that that we're talkingabout Edwards Edwards drives kicks to the corner.

Alexander Walker hit a big one,but I mean, you guys missed
a fair amount of him too.I mean, if you're hitting those wide
open threes on that Edwards kick,holy cow. But but anyway, he
got Kyle got Towns lined up onone of those threes right in front of
your bench. And set that sweetlittle pick and like when when he put
him into the right spot and Anthonywas patient enough, knowing Carl needed to

be there, so he waited forslow mo. Then he penetrated, he
got that little pick. What whatwhat led you to believe into the series
Kyle Anderson had such a key role. Well, I think a couple of
things. One is his versatility,you know, we needed. We know
it's the way that they play.We would need his defensive versatility. He's

been a pretty good Luca matchup forus in the two years he's been here.
You know, just with the waythat they were going to play defense,
we felt that he was going tobe able to on lock shots for
for us. You know, Kyledidn't you know, Kyle didn't play a
you know, major minutes in thelast series, in the Denver series because

it was different. It was moreabout how many big bodies can you throw
it at Jokic. Now it becomeshow many different looks can we give those
two guards? And you know,and also at the other end, you
know, just we always know howmuch more you know, kind of settled
and secure we feel with Kyle outthere helping to orchestrate offense and Luca's immortality.

I mean, there ain't no doubtabout it. But but so so,
you know, this may seem preposterous, but Kyle bugs him. Haven't
you noticed that there are times Kylebugs Luka doncic Oh for sure. I
mean, you know, he's gota big body. I mean, Luca's
you know, I mean, lucasan incredible player, the best in the
world right now. But what youdon't realize about is big. You know,

it's big, He's strong. He'sgot to body hits you first.
You gotta be able to absorb thathit, you know, and when you
know they especially with the way theyallow him to, you know, push
off to create separation. You gotto be able to withstand that and still
have no length, you know,in the footwork to contest and and compete.

So he does a good job withwith that and gives us some switchability
too, which is always good whenyou have a such a high IQ pick
and role player like Luca. WhenChris when when when you say they allow
him to push off, do youguys have like pregame meetings with the Rats
where I mean, I'm just usedto this from the NFL. It happens
every single game where you like meetand and you let them know either you

got something tricky comings you know,don't freak out when you see this,
or hey, can you can youguys do a better or can you guys
monitor this? And and maybe thepush offs, like do you have those
meetings? No, not pregame,you know, I mean the pregame meetings.
There more informality with the with thecaptains and the officials. I don't

think there's anything of substance discussed therecertainly nothing amongst the coaches or whatever.
Any kind of points of emphasis thatwe want to draw we have to do
through official channels post game. Uh. But you know, you see it
a lot, you know, yousee, I mean the defense has become
you know, more prevalent in theleague, uh coming you know, certainly

in the second half of this season, which is great to see, adds
to the overall kind of flavor ofthe product. Uh. But I still
think the offensive teams and offensive playersare given too much advantage on just simple
push offs to create space, andthen when the defender tries to close that
gap and the offensive player steps backinto it, they call the foul.
Seems a little unfair to me.Someone's gonna push me off, and I

try to come back and retake myspace and they launch themselves at me.
I've been put out of disadvantage,and I think it's something that the league
needs to continue to look at totry to mitigate. What what What did
you think of Anthony's overall game?I thought it was outstanding, you know,

it really was. I thought,you know, he was gonna be
aggressive, one of the ball inhis hands down the stretch. I thought
for the most part, he madegood decisions. You know, even the
shots that he got too we gotthere under control and they're clean. You
know, he didn't try to dotoo much. He just got to the
spot, rose up, made theshot. Even the step through bank shot
was something that you know, hedidn't over complicate. Found you know,

found found cat at the right timea couple of times for big trees,
you know. And defensively, hewas really good on Luca, kind of
just navigating a lot of a lotof their picks. A couple more here
with Chris Bench, coach of thetimber Wolves. Thank you. Thanks for
the time too, Chris Kyrie anytime. Kyrie was fourteen and zero all time

and close out games. Now he'sfourteen and one at anything, just ripped
leading to his off night. No, I mean, I mean, like
he's phenomenal player playing an incredible levelright now. To me, it's some
of the best basketball I've ever seenhim play. They've got a great chemistry
with his team. Uh, youand Luca have figured it out. Uh,

he's got the ability to get anywhereon the floor. Of the best
ball handler in the league and oneof the best finishers in the league too,
So he's got a complete package,and he's guarding at a high level.
Uh, you know, there's gonnabe nights where you just the shots
just don't go in. I meanthose guys, those guys have been making
shots at such an incredible rate,and a lot of them are tough contested

shots, and so some nights they'rejust not going to go in. I
mean, we've you know, heseemed that with Kat. It was not
like Kat hadn't had good looks.It just hadn't gone in the first couple
of games of the series. Soyou know, we got to got to
continue to fight him and you know, show him, show him the crowd
and trying to make it as hardas possible. But you know, I

don't think there was like a scriptthat we could you know, that we
had any kind of secret to tofigure it out. What about what what
did you guys change in halftime?You said after the game the adjustments played
into the win. I think itwas more just offensively, you know,
we're just figuring out where where wecould, uh we could, you know,

kind of take advantage of a fewthings based on how they were guarding
and Rudy Gobert what what What didyou think of Rudy's overall night? Quite
physical, wasn't it. Yeah?I thought it was his best game of
the series. I thought active asactivity on defense was, Uh was where
it was where it's always been.He looked more like his normal self.

We did a lot better job ofprotecting him when he was able to be
aggressive, which is, you know, one of the one of the things
we hadn't been able to do.So we've been giving up a lot of
lobbs in the series. Just neededto free him, free him in his
mindset. Uh, you know,I thought, uh, you know,
he was he stayed really composed througha lot of wrestling out there and and

just kept playing and you know,we were in foul trouble and we were
able to survive that. But Ithought it was his best game in the
series. So we're gonna need moreof it. So so you last one,
you you got the whole thing seeminglywrapped up. You know you're going
to come back home, and ofcourse Luca hits the late three and gets
found. I mean, nothing's easyin this series, right, No,

not at all. I mean,when you have great players out there,
they're a capable of doing great things. You know, I thought we left
some money on the table with ourturnovers and our mystery throws. I thought
we could play it even better.We did a much better job of closing
that game. I mean it wasit felt like every other game in the
series. We just we didn't turnit over. We got a good shot

every time, and we were ableto get stops down to stretch. And
that's the combination that you have todo to win those games. You know,
they're going to make some great shots. They've proven that all series that
they can do it. So you'vegot to be able to score alongside of
them and get enough. Stop yourself, big time, my ma'am, and
thanks for everything. You do forsecond Harvest Heartland. Okay, I appreciate

it, PA, thanks so much. Yeah, see you bout good luck
tomorrow night. But thanks. ChrisBench, coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves,
to start to nine to noon aftera thrilling victory over the Dallas Mavericks,
where our beloved Timberwolves are staying alive.
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