Jimmy Butler.

Jimmy Butler criticises the Timberwolves for their poor defensive efforts

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are struggling to keep a level of consistency so far this season as they continue to adjust as a team.

The franchise made a number of moves in the offseason as they acquired All-Star Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls and added free agents Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford.

They have shown signs of their obvious talent with some good wins but they've also suffered some bad losses along the way.

Saturday night's setback against the Phoenix Suns certainly falls in the latter category.

The Suns secured a 118-110 win over the Timberwolves at the Talking Stick Resort Arena and it prompted Butler to point out some home truths to his team.

The All-Defensive guard has been frustrated by their lack of effort on that end of the floor and has warned that they will have a lot of bad nights if they don't fix their problems.

"Offence will never be the problem all year long," Butler said, per ESPN. "All you're always going to hear about from us, from everybody else, is we're not playing any defence. That is our biggest letdown right now. And until we fix it, a lot of outcomes are going to be like this one."

Minnesota Timberwolves v Miami Heat

After going on a five-game winning streak, the T-Wolves have now lost their last two games.

The defence has been a major issue for the team since last season and even though Butler has come in and helped in that regard, they are still one of the worst defensive teams in the league as a whole.

They currently rank 27th in the NBA, giving up an average of 108.8 points per 100 possessions.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors

To make matters worse for the Timberwolves, they were outscored 31-16 in the final 10 minutes of the fourth quarter by Phoenix, allowing them to go on a 14-0 run over a four-minute stretch late in the game as they closed it out.

Butler is looking to take a leadership role with the young Minnesota team and accepted responsibility for their poor defensive showing, especially after Devin Booker poured 35 points on him.

"We're not making guys go to their weaknesses," Butler said. "We're too busy letting guys go to their strengths, and that's on me, man. [Booker] actually whipped my tail tonight.

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves

"I wasn't up on shots. He got into where he wanted to get to on the floor. I got to be better on the defensive end. It starts with me."

Despite their glaring issues, the Timberwolves still have a winning record at 7-5 and are one of the most talented teams in the league.

But if they want to compete with the best, they must be effective on both ends of the floor and at the moment they're failing to do that.

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Andrew Wiggins
Minnesota Timberwolves
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