Chris Finch is thought to be an offensive mastermind. That’s important to note after his first game as head coach Tuesday night in Milwaukee.
Because Minnesota’s defense was non-existent.
Milwaukee was in three-for-all mode all night, hitting 20 triples in its 139-112 bashing of the Timberwolves.
That overshadowed a strong offensive start for Minnesota. In his introductory press conference Monday, Finch emphasized playing fast and free, and centering the offense on all-star big man Karl-Anthony Towns.
Minnesota did both in the first half. Towns played 21 minutes through the first two quarters, tallying 20 points and five assists. The Timberwolves got up and down the court, playing as much in transition as they had all season. Malik Beasley got and made a number of good looks from deep.
Things were rolling for the Wolves offensively.
And they were down 17 at the break — 79-62. Turns out, when you don’t defend, little you do on the offensive end matters.
The Bucks (19-13) scored 34-plus points in each of the game’s first three quarters, including 41 in the second. Minnesota lost every single frame.
It’s rather common for a team to go all out and potentially pull an upset in its first game with a new coach after its former bench boss is fired — but Minnesota played with little to no defensive tenacity. Giannis Antetokounmpo out-muscled the Timberwolves all evening, getting to the rim at will. He finished with 37 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and two steals.
When Minnesota (7-25) sucked in on Antetokounmpo, he kicked out to open shooters, who made the Wolves pay consistently. All five Bucks’ starters scored in double-figures. Bryn Forbes had 23 points — including four triples — off the pine.
Towns and Beasley each finished with 26 points, though neither player made much of an impact in the second half. Minnesota is right back at it Wednesday in Chicago, where it will take on former Wolves’ guard Zach LaVine, who was named to his first all-star team Tuesday.
Unsurprisingly, no Timberwolves were named to the all-star roster.