Written By Tom Schreier (ColdOmaha.com)
The Minnesota Timberwolves “won the third quarter” 32-22 and held a lead well into the fourth quarter in Saturday’s game, but the Utah Jazz went on an 11-0 run to end the contest to win 94-92.
“We have to understand how different the 4th quarter is, and you have to be disciplined,” said head coach Tom Thibodeau after the game. “And so the reckless fouls, the reaching, the gambling — we’re beating ourselves when we do that.”
We apologize for the late post here, which came as a result of technical difficulties on the back end of our site. Still, the key quotes below are worth noting.
“I don’t know. We’re gonna keep banging away at it. It’s frustrating,” he said when asked when his message will sink in. “I thought we had a good effort for three quarters … more than three quarters. And this team is sitting here, they’re waiting. It’s a terrific team, they’re at full strength. We’re coming off a back-to-back; I thought we played hard, but we didn’t play smart in the 4th quarter.”
Asked if his players are fighting themselves, or if they are fighting him, he said: “It’s a great question.
“The thing that we have to understand is, what we have to do to win is we have to be disciplined and we have to be connected, and we have to be tied together. And you can’t go rogue in the 4th quarter — you can’t. You can’t make it up defensively, you can’t make it up offensively; you have to stay disciplined. That’s how you win.
“Everyone has to know what the other guy is doing, right?” he added. “If we just go random, no one knows what the other guy is doing. So the discipline that’s required, and to me that’s a big part of mental toughness — is doing what’s necessary, to know what your job is and then to do your job, so everyone knows where everyone is at all times.”
Finally, he was asked if his palpable frustration, he dismissed the notion. “You can look for all the excuses you want, we have to get the job done — that’s what we have to do. You can say this, that — whatever. We have to do our job, everyone has to do their job.”
Below is Thibodeau’s post-game press conference:
Zach LaVine postgame: