MINNEAPOLIS — Losing a swing playoff game after blowing a 26-point lead - yep, 26 points - is painful enough.
But things actually got worse for the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose blown lead in Thursday's 104-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies was nearly one for the record books. Following the game, TNT studio host Charles Barkley shredded what was left of the T-Wolves pride with a diatribe on the team's basketball IQ.
"This gotta be one of the dumbest teams – all the talent – and they're dumber than rocks," Barkley told host Ernie Johnson, later adding: "When they have to think, they can't think."
Barkley was especially tough on Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch and his staff for not calling a timeout as Memphis went on a 21-0 run in the fourth quarter, with the game still hanging in the balance.
"That was embarrassing for basketball," Barkley said. "The coaching staff of Minnesota should be just as embarrassed as the players."
"I don't believe there's dumb kids, I think they just got bad parents," he added.
The former "Round Mound of Rebound" also took a shot at Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns, who is quickly gaining a reputation for not showing up in big games. The center, who is considered the face of the franchise, scored just eight points while picking up five fouls and was a non-factor in the crucial game. He took just four shots the entire game.
In a post game press conference Towns was nonchalant when asked about his performance, saying he'd "go home, drink some wine and move on to the next day. It's that simple."
Barkley wasn't about to let that go.
“This is like two times in the last week in playoff situations you get more fouls than points and rebounds, and your answer is, ‘Next question,’ or ‘I’m just gonna drink me some wine,’” Barkley vented. “No, no, no. That’s bogus, man. That’s total BS. Dude, you were the No. 1 pick in the draft; you’re supposed to be a franchise player; you gotta quit committing stupid fouls. You gotta play better, man.”
It was the second time in a week Barkley has savaged the Timberwolves. He mocked them roundly for celebrating a play-in victory over the Los Angeles Clippers like it was Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
The Wolves have a chance to get things back on track Saturday when they take the court at Target Center for Game 4. Better step it up guys, Charles is watching.
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