Jeff Teague latest Timberwolves starter to advocate for bench minutes
Earlier in the season, starting wing Jimmy Butler jokingly/not jokingly said he’d talk to Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau about his heavy workload. CJ Fogler:
Then, starting power Taj Gibson recommended more bench minutes. Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic:
Taj Gibson with some pretty strong comments on the bench: "They need more time to get a rhythm. Sometimes, they don't really get the minutes that they deserve. Sometimes, when they mess up, they may just get snatched right out."— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) February 16, 2018
Now, starting point guard Jeff Teague is taking up the mantle. Krawczynski:
Teague on the bench: "Guys get tired. I think they need opportunities. ... Hopefully Thibs sees that they can really help."— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) March 26, 2018
The average Timberwolves starter plays 34.8 minutes per game – far more than any other teams’ starters:
Butler, Gibson and Teague can state their cases. At times, they do look tired. Butler got hurt.
But Thibodeau seems set in his ways.
He values putting his best players (and Derrick Rose) on the court as much as possible. He believes in players developing sound habits through repetition and repetition and repetition and…
Thibodeau’s stance on these issues contributed to the Bulls firing him, and he still stuck with resting his top players less than other teams do. If losing the threat of losing his job didn’t sway him, I doubt these players will.
But they can try – with whatever energy they have left after playing for him.