Emotions are at a high for the Minnesota Timberwolves after the team topped the LA Clippers 109-104 on Tuesday in the Seven-Eight Game. That play-in win gave Minnesota the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
After the game, veteran guard Patrick Beverley celebrated by going to the scorers table and showing his excitement to the home crowd. It was a situation that drew the attention of fans, as many mocked his over a play-in win.
One person who didn't understand the public response was former NBA veteran and current basketball analyst JJ Redick. On his "The Old Man & the Three" podcast, Redick said he believes the public's overreaction sent the wrong message.
"For all the knock against professional athletes, we witnessed in real time them showing that it matters, them showing how much they cared," Redick said. "They cared. The city cared, the fans cared, the team cared, the players cared. They cared, and we're gonna make fun of that? I'm sorry, it's wrong."
Redick said he understands what it's like to be emotional after the outcome of a hard-fought game. Redick talked about how beating the San Antonio Spurs in 2015 was one of the most emotional experiences he had in basketball because it mattered.
The NBA veteran said he's not a fan of the "jest" towards the Timberwolves.
"I cried after we beat the Spurs in 2015," Redick said. "It was the first round. Did I feel like I had accomplished some great thing, that I had a ring on my finger? F*** no. But you know what? It was emotional because it f***ing mattered, and I cared.
"And to go through that and to go through everything that team had gone through, I'm off of it. I'm not a fan of the jest towards them."
Minnesota Timberwolves prepare for NBA playoffs
During his podcast, JJ Redick brought up a number of good points regarding the Minnesota Timberwolves and NBA players. The public was quick to jump on Patrick Beverley and the Timberwolves for their emotions after the game.
While it's a situation that can be argued from both sides, it's also a massive stepping stone for a young team that wasn't expected to make the playoffs.
Beverley was also clearly emotional with getting revenge on his former team. Regardless of which side fans might be on, the Timberwolves are back in the playoffs.
The milestone was also substantial for home fans. Minnesota is in the playoffs for just the second time in 18 seasons. The last time came in 2017-18. The team's best run was reaching the Western Conference finals in 2003-04. That appearance came after seven consecutive first-round exits from 1997 through 2003. That's the entirety of the playoff history for the franchise that began in 1989-90.
Their next challenge will include going up against the Memphis Grizzlies, who have been one of the league's most impressive teams. Game 1 takes place on Saturday.