With a win Sunday night over the Houston Rockets, Chris Finch – the coach of the surprising Minnesota Timberwolves — will coach the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game in a couple of weeks.
With a win over the Houston Rockets, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder are tied atop the Western Conference at 35-15, sending the decision for coaching the Western Conference All-Stars to tiebreakers. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head, but the Timberwolves/Thunder series ended tied 2-2. The second tiebreaker is an in-conference record, where Minnesota is 24-8 to Oklahoma City‘s 21-11.
Finch’s players were excited for him.
Anthony Edwards on Finch and staff coaching All-Star game: “That probably was the greatest thing of this season. That’s dope for him to get recognized for how great he’s coached this year.”
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) February 5, 2024
Finch is in the mix for the Coach of the Year award for his ability to mold a Timberwolves team that seemed to be searching for an identity a season ago. It helps that his team got healthy, but he has Rudy Gobert looking like a Defensive Player of the Year again, has melded Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns along the front line, and has shifted this to becoming Anthony Edward’s team. Finch learned from what worked and what mostly didn’t last season and turned it into one of the top teams in the league this season.
This is the first time Finch has been named to coach the All-Star Game. Flip Saunders was the last Timberwolves coach to be named All-Star coach, back in 2004.
Finch will coach a team with two of his players on it as reserves, Edwards and Towns.
Finch will face off (as much as that happens in an All-Star Game) against Bucks coach Doc Rivers, who will coach the East due to a bizarre set of circumstances.