Minnesota Timberwolves coach Sam Mitchell says his players must "grow up" after Clippers loss

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Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Sam Mitchell launched a stinging attack on his players following their 99-79 defeat against the L.A. Clippers on Wednesday claiming they need to "grow up".

Mitchell was angered by his team's performance and the lack of effort against one of the league's better teams and didn't hold back with his criticism of the young group of players.

In the postgame media scrum, Mitchell went on a 31-second rant without taking any questions from reporters.

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"Worst game," he said. "Didn't set screens, didn't pass the ball. I didn't even recognize us at the start of the game.

"Like I told them, I wish [the media] would stop asking me questions about how good they can be. We have 25 wins. They still have to learn how to play basketball. They still got to grow up. They still got to understand, they played a team that's a real playoff team tonight. You saw what happened.

"We're not ready yet. So I wish they would stop reading the newspapers, stop talking to their friends, because we're not good enough to just show up and play. That was the worst game we've played all year."

Rookie of the year favourite Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 16 points and 11 rebounds but his teammates didn't have much luck offensively on the night, despite the team having one of the best offences in the league since the All-Star break.

The entire team combined for 12-37 shooting in the loss, with Andrew Wiggins, their leading scorer this season averaging 20.5 points, managing just seven points before leaving the game in the third quarter with an injury to his chin. 

Zach Lavine, who was scoreless on the night going 0-6 from the field, said: "[Mitchell] can say what he wants, but it just wasn't a very good game for us. Our offense was stagnant. We didn't make a lot of shots. We weren't physical and they were just playing better than us." 

This wasn't the first time Sam Mitchell has taken this approach with the media after a game. After losing 116-101 to the Milwaukee Bucks on March 5, a game in which Mitchell benched his starters for the majority of the second half, he conducted a 30-second press conference giving his thoughts without any questions. 

The future of the former Toronto Raptors coach has been in question all season and his latest actions will not endear him to his players. He has led the team to a dismal 20-50 record since taking over last summer following the tragic death of former coach Flip Saunders. 

With a promising core group of players comprising of Towns, Wiggins, LaVine and Ricky Rubio, plus a potential lottery pick in the draft, the Timberwolves will have a big decision to make on whether Mitchell is the right man to lead them beyond this campaign.

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

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