Karl-Anthony Towns.

Tom Thibodeau wants Karl-Anthony Towns to be "more active" after poor performance in Houston

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After playing a huge part in ending the Minnesota Timberwolves' 13-year playoff drought, Karl-Anthony Towns had a night to forget in his postseason debut.

In a narrow 104-101 loss to the Houston Rockets, the big man struggled to assert himself and surprisingly failed to reach double figures in scoring, which is an extremely rare occurrence.

Towns posted just eight points on 3-of-9 shooting and was unable to cope with the defence the Rockets played on him throughout the contest.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau has called for the 21-year-old to play with more energy following his virtual no-show offensively.

"He's got to be more active," Thibodeau said, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

During the regular season, the 2015 number one overall pick averaged 21.3 points per game and was held to fewer than eight points on just two occasions.

For a seven-footer with his offensive skill set, the nine shot attempts he put up was also a huge surprise.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Houston Rockets - Game One

When asked how he wants KAT to be more active, Thibs said he particularly wants him to run the floor and get out in transition.

"You run the floor," Thibodeau said. "Kick the ball out, repost, keep moving around, search it out, get to the offensive board. You've got to sprint around.

"You learn when teams are double-teaming you -- that's what you have to do. You have to make the right play. You also have to get to positions in which it's difficult for them to double-team you. Transition's a big part of that. You've got to run the floor."

The Rockets keyed in on the young center and looked to get the ball out of his hands as often as possible.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Houston Rockets - Game One

But there were times when Towns had smaller guards such as Chris Paul or Eric Gordon on him but he didn't receive the ball in these instances and he refused to complain about a lack of touches after the game.

"I've got to be better on both sides of the basketball," said Towns. "At the end of the day, I trust my teammates full-heartedly that when they get the ball that they can go out there and score every single time.

"We have such talented players that sometimes the game plan is that. I've got to be better all-around if I'm going to help my teammates out as much as possible."

Minnesota Timberwolves v Atlanta Hawks

In contrast, Houston center Clint Capela enjoyed a dominant night as he posted a playoff-career-high 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, along with 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.

He was effective on both ends of the floor and was willing to run the floor and provide energy for the home team all night.

This is exactly what the Timberwolves want from Towns and it's a matchup they'll need him to dominate if they are to stand any chance of causing an upset against the Rockets.

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Karl-Anthony Towns
Minnesota Timberwolves
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Andrew Wiggins

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