Timberwolves Suspend Rudy Gobert for Play-In Game Versus Lakers
The Minnesota Timberwolves have suspended Rudy Gobert after he threw a punch at teammate Kyle Anderson on Sunday.
Minnesota will now be without their All-Star center for the 7v8 Play-In Tournament game set for Tuesday. If the team goes on to lose that game, they will return to Minnesota to play either the Pelicans or Thunder for a chance to secure the 8 seed.
While always unacceptable, Gobert’s actions couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Lakers average the 6th-most points in the paint per game and have held the NBA’s 6th-best net rating since the All-Star break. With two bruising and physical talents like Anthony Davis and LeBron James waiting in the wings, Gobert’s rim protection skills could have undoubtedly come in handy.
The Timberwolves have already been missing backup big man Naz Reid due to a season-ending wrist injury. They’ll also now be without forward Jaden McDaniels after he broke his hand punching a wall in frustration on his way to the locker room (yes, you read that right).
Again, the Timberwolves will at least have two chances to try to secure a first-round series, but there is no question they’ve put themselves in a precarious situation. Even if Gobert is fully available for a second Play-In matchup at home, who the heck knows what the locker room atmosphere might be?