The Minnesota Timberwolves secured a winning season for the first time in more than a decade, which is tremendous news for a franchise that desperately hoped this season would feature a massive step forward. As the season is winding down and the Timberwolves are working on securing a playoff bid, Jeff Teague would really appreciate it if the bench got some more run and he got the opportunity to rest.
Teague has averaged 32.9 minutes per game this year, which is tied for the second-highest mark of his career. It’s not exactly a shock that this has happened, because his head coach, Tom Thibodeau, is notorious for running his starters into the ground and having a short bench.
In Teague’s eyes, it would be beneficial for Thibodeau to turn to the bench a little more, both to give players opportunities and to take some stress off of the guys who have shouldered the load this season.
Again, this is what Thibodeau has believed his entire head coaching career. His starters just play more than the other guys’ starters play, and when you have as good of a starting unit as Minnesota does when the team is healthy, you can’t blame him for wanting to keep his best players on the floor.
But still, this Timberwolves team is full of guys who seem like they want Thibodeau to take his foot off the gas a little. As Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk astutely pointed out, Teague is hardly the first player this season to ask for the opportunity to rest.
There isn’t really a “right” answer here — all that matters is that the team wins, and Minnesota would be in the postseason if the season ended today even though Jimmy Butler is still sidelined. But if multiple starters are saying they would like it if they got a rest, it might be in Thibodeau’s best interest to listen to his players.