NBA Rumors: Timberwolves dealt devastating injury news that will derail season

The Minnesota Timberwolves' run of good fortunes this season may have run its course with a latest injury to Karl-Anthony Towns.
Memphis Grizzlies v Minnesota Timberwolves
Memphis Grizzlies v Minnesota Timberwolves / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

NBA Rumors: The Minnesota Timberwolves were dealt devastating injury news that will likely derail the remainder of the season.

With less than 20 games left in the regular season, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been the best team in the Western Conference. Sitting atop the conference standings, there was hope that this team could be preparing to make a deep playoff run. However, that could all be in jeopardy after the Wolves have been dealt with devastating injury news.

According to a recent report, Karl-Anthony Towns has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his knee and is expected to be out indefinitely. As the second-leading scorer on the team, KAT has been a key part of the Wolves' success this season. KAT was averaging 22 points, eight rebounds, and three assists on 51 percent shooting from the floor and 42 percent shooting from the field.

Who will step up in the place of KAT?

If KAT ends up missing the remainder of the regular season, which may very well be the case depending on the route he takes to rehab the injury, it's going to be very difficult for the Wolves to replace that level and amount of production. After KAT, the team's next leading scorer is Rudy Gobert, who averages a hair under 14 points per game.

While Gobert is a real difference-maker for the team, he's not the type of player that you ask to give you 6-8 more points on a night-to-night basis. If the Wolves are going to be able to keep pace in the West, this is going to have to be a team effort to help replace KAT's production. And even then, that may not be good enough.

Through the majority of the season, the Wolves have sat atop or near the top of the West standings. The Wolves are 43-19 with the best defense and third-best net rating in the NBA. What will make this injury even more difficult for Minnesota to overcome is the fact that even with KAT in the lineup, they've continued to struggle on the offensive end of the floor. Up to now, the Wolves have just the 18th-ranked offensive rating. Losing KAT will not make life any easier on that end of the floor and it would be expected to see the Wolves struggle even more over the final few weeks of the regular season.

There's no question that the timing of this injury is extremely unfortunate. However, don't expect the Wolves to completely throw in the towel on the season. Not yet. That said, there's no question that this is an absolute gut punch.

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