The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday afternoon to secure the 8-seed in the West and give themselves two cracks at a playoff spot via the play-in tournament.
Their first chance will come in Los Angeles on Tuesday night when they face the Lakers for the 7-seed, but they will make that trip without one of their stars. Rudy Gobert will not be with the team in L.A. as the organization has suspended Gobert one game after he got into an altercation on the bench with Kyle Anderson and threw a punch at Anderson’s chest.
Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert isn’t traveling with team to LA and won’t play vs. the Lakers on Tuesday in the Play-In tournament, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/Gey3twxchn
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 10, 2023
Sources: Rudy Gobert has been suspended for Timberwolves-Lakers on Tuesday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 10, 2023
The altercation continued in the locker room, with Anderson reportedly telling Gobert “I’ll knock your ass out,” and tensions appeared to be running very high in Minnesota. After that — and the loss of Jaden McDaniels to a fractured hand after he punched a wall — the Wolves still managed to come back from a double-digit deficit to win the game on the backs of tremendous performances from Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. They’ll be banking heavily on those two performing well once again on Tuesday night in L.A. if they are to have any chance of taking down the suddenly red-hot Lakers. Losing Gobert for the game is not insignificant, but they’ve proven they can win without him and if they manage to do so again to make the playoffs, you can be sure the chatter about Gobert’s impact in big games will not get any quieter.