The NBA Playoffs demand players to have laser-shar focus in games. That can’t be said about the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Houston Rockets at least during one incredibly odd sequence in the fourth quarter of their postseason series opener.
It started with a foul call on Timberwolves shooting guard Jimmy Butler while trying to defend Rockets superstar James Harden. Harden then went to the foul line to shoot a pair of free throws, but after missing his second try, confusion started to engulf both teams. Minnesota big man Karl-Anthony Towns got the rebound, but it was obviously unclear to him whether the possession was live or that he needs to give it back to Harden for another free throw. Rockets center Clint Capela did not even try to box out Towns, as he, too, thought that Harden had one more free-throw attempt left.
An unconventional fastbreak with the confusion after the missed free throw. pic.twitter.com/JL74Lv3gJS
— RealGM (@RealGM) April 16, 2018
Fortunately for Towns, he was able to chuck the ball to Derrick Rose downcourt before Houston players realized that Towns had in his possession a live ball. Rose would then dish an assist to Andrew Wiggins for a gimme fastbreak dunk, probably the easiest basket the Timberwolves had all night.
Even Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau looked clueless as to what was going on, as he could be seen just watching the weird play unfold without even giving any instruction.
It all ends well for Houston, however. The Rockets escaped Game 1 with a too-close-for-comfort 104-101 win, thanks to a huge game from Harden, who detonated for 44 points and added eight assists plus four rebounds.
The Rockets and the Timberwolves resume their basketball hostilities this Wednesday at Toyota Center.