Fatigue starting to set in for Timberwolves amid difficult stretch

Mike Conley noted he’s had good looks from 3-point range of late, but the shots simply haven’t fallen. The veteran guard, who has been a sniper from deep for the Timberwolves this season, is 1 for 11 from beyond the arc over his past two games.

He’s not worried about that. Conley is confident the tide will turn and he’ll get back to knocking down shots at a high rate. But then he was asked by reporters Friday if he was dealing with anything physically at the moment.

“There’s a lot physical. It’s that time of year. Dealing with multiple things — everybody is,” Conley told reporters. “But it’s that time of year. We’ve got a lot of games, playing a lot back to backs, on the road here, so a lot of it could be just trying to get our legs back together, my legs back together. Not too worried about it, but we’re just going to keep moving forward and keep at it.”

Indeed, Friday’s game in Cleveland marked the end of a stretch in which the Timberwolves played four sets of back to backs in a span of nine games. Three of those sets were at home, which helps, but still, that’s a lot of wear and tear on the bodies for the Wolves, who play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday as their current six-game road trip marches forward.

Veteran center Rudy Gobert said he’s never experienced such a stretch in his NBA career.

“It’s unfortunate. But we gotta fight through it, we gotta take care of ourselves. Obviously, we want to win every night,” Gobert said recently. “Going (to the) west coast, we have a little more space between games. NBA season, some stretches are tough, but we gotta use those games to get better and take care of ourselves.”

Wolves assistant Micah Nori, who filled in as head coach for an ill Chris Finch on Friday in Cleveland, noted Minnesota isn’t the only team to have to endure a congested portion of the schedule. But it comes at a bad time for the Wolves, who just lost Karl-Anthony Towns for the foreseeable future, were without Jordan McLaughin against Indiana and didn’t have Monte Morris in Cleveland.

“Guys are stacking minutes up. I mean , you see Ant — 42 (minutes against Cleveland) after the game he had (against Indiana), and all these guys, high 30s, I think that’s where you maybe see shots come up a little bit short at times,” Nori told reporters.

Case in point: Naz Reid was 7 for 11 shooting from deep on Friday, but his teammates were a combined 1 for 19 from deep. Nori noted Minnesota’s schedule does lighten up in terms of the actual volume of games from here.

“We play every other day and then we have that three-day stretch before we go into Utah,” Nori said. “But it’s just kind of a cumulative catch up. You don’t really have much practice time, and then it’s fly, play, back to backs, and you really don’t have a lot of time to recover to fill your tank back up.”

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