Bill Simmons had Doc Rivers on his Wednesday podcast to discuss the state of the NBA. Simmons asked Rivers what’s going on with the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors, then looked at the Los Angeles Clippers’ rise.
Doc has the Clippers and the Denver Nuggets as the two best teams in the West.
“And I know we love Minnesota,” Doc added.
“Ehh, Minnesota is, there’s been some signs lately,” Simmons responded.
“Listen, they had a fight in the playoffs last year, and the fight was not against the opposing team,” Doc joked.
“Right,” Simmons concurred.
“So, until they can show that they can perform under the pressure of the playoffs, I love them, but I’m just not buying them,” Doc stated.
“Little bit different of a bullseye with them, too, where now people know they’re good, so night after night, you gotta bring it,” Simmons added.
“I watch them a lot because I like watching them. They’re asking a lot from Conley at this point in his career, and there’s just nights when he doesn’t have it. Edwards is still trying to figure out what he is as a top-20 guy, and there’s some nights when he seems to want certain things from the game that the game doesn’t need.
“So they’re a work in progress. I’m not counting them out.”
Doc’s son, Austin, was on the Wolves last year, so Doc was watching them closely last season. He’s not wrong that they fought themselves a bit in last year’s playoffs, but the Denver Nuggets were the better team.
Simmons also is right to point out that Minnesota’s late-game execution is concerning at times. But it’s a good sign that two NBA minds believe that the Wolves are legit this year. There are some things they have to work out, but they’re a better team than last year’s version that lost to the eventual champs.