Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Timberwolves’ coach Chris Finch to undergo surgery after collision with player: reports

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are moving on to face the defending NBA champions in the Western Conference semifinals after sweeping the Phoenix Suns over the weekend, but they’ll likely be doing so without head coach Chris Finch. 

Finch’s patellar tendon in his right knee ruptured after he collided with Timberwolves guard Mike Conley in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s Game 4 victory over the Suns.

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch during a game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena Jan. 17, 2024, in Detroit.  (Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

A source confirmed to The Associated Press that Finch, 54, will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair the tendon, giving him just a few days rest before the Timberwolves square off against the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 Friday. 

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Sources told ESPN, which first reported the news, that Finch’s right leg will need to be mobilized in a brace initially. 

With his inability to be on the sidelines, assistant coach Micah Nori will likely led the Timberwolves when they open the series Friday. According to the report, Finch will communicate with Nori from the locker room if he’s unable to coach.

Chris Finch falls over

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch holds his knee after colliding with Timberwolves guard Mike Conley during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns April 28, 2024, in Phoenix.  (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

TIMBERWOLVES’ CHRIS FINCH SUFFERS TORN PATELLAR TENDON IN KNEE AFTER COLLISION WITH PLAYER

Finch remained on the ground in obvious pain after colliding with Conley, who was dribbling down the sideline late in the game Sunday. He was eventually helped off the court before being carted out of the arena. 

Finch, who finished third in the NBA Coach of the Year voting, is 160-127 in three-plus years with the Timberwolves. He’s 7-8 in the playoffs, having led the team there in each of his three full seasons. 

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LeBron James pokes the ball away

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, knocks the ball from the hands of Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic during the second half in Game 4 of an NBA first-round playoff series April 27, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Timberwolves will face the Nuggets, who beat the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 Monday. Denver beat Minnesota in five games in the first round last year to spark their championship run.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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