Minnesota Now with Cathy Wurzer

Looking ahead to the Minnesota Timberwolves post-season with the co-host of The Boy Lynx

Suns Timberwolves Basketball
Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal (3) works around Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels as forward Drew Eubanks (14) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday in Minneapolis.
Matt Krohn | AP

The most successful Timberwolves season in 20 years ended with a turn for the worse last night. They quickly fell behind in a game against the Phoenix Suns and never recovered.

Now they are third in the Western Conference and set to play the Suns, a team they have yet to beat this season, this coming Saturday in the NBA playoffs.

Anna Knutsen is a huge Timberwolves fan. She co-hosts a podcast all about the team called The Boy Lynx. She joined MPR News host Cathy Wurzer to talk about the season and what’s to come in the playoffs.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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Audio transcript

CATHY WURZER: The most successful Timberwolves season in 20 years ended with a turn for the worse last night. They quickly fell behind in a game against the Phoenix Suns and never recovered. Now they're third in the Western Conference, and they're set to play the Suns again in the NBA playoffs on Saturday. The Suns are a team they have yet to beat this season.

Joining us right now is a huge Timberwolves fan, Anna Knutson. She co-hosts a podcast all about the Timberwolves. It's called The Boy Lynx. She's here to talk about the season and what's to come in the playoffs. Anna, welcome to the program.

ANNA KNUTSON: Thanks so much for having me. This is so fun.

CATHY WURZER: I'm glad you could-- oh, thanks. I'm glad you could take the time. We appreciate it. Oh my goodness. I know you were watching last night. What the heck happened?

ANNA KNUTSON: I mean, last night's game-- we've been coming out so slow. Honestly, it seems like maybe our last six games. So for the Wolves to come out slow last night was just-- against a Suns team that we've had such a difficult time playing this season. We really needed to come out ready to rock and roll. And they just didn't, which is tough.

CATHY WURZER: It makes you kind of worried, don't you? I mean, at least I'm worried for the playoffs. They've got to get their act together.

ANNA KNUTSON: Yeah. No, the playoffs. I know that we were all-- a lot of people out in the Timberwolves community were-- I think for the last good month we were all speculating on who we might see in the playoffs. And for us, I know I was really concerned about playing against the Pelicans. A lot of folks were talking about the concern around having to play the Suns. And then almost every road for us in the playoffs kind of leading back to the Suns, which is just-- yeah, it's not an ideal match-up. But hopefully, we're able to get our acts together here and just get a win.

CATHY WURZER: Well, I mean, the really positive thing is they have one of the best defensive ratings in the NBA, right?

ANNA KNUTSON: Yeah.

CATHY WURZER: Which is good. That's great. But we need some offense.

ANNA KNUTSON: Yeah, we definitely need some offense. And against the Suns it's been really difficult for us this year. We've had two of just our-- our worst offensive showing and also our worst defensive showing against the Suns this year, which is not great. But yeah, we have a really slim margin for error on the offensive side. So we really need to start generating some good shots. And hopefully with Karl-Anthony Towns back-- I know this is just his second game back after missing, I think, 18 games. So hopefully his three starts to fall.

CATHY WURZER: So congratulations. At the beginning of the Wolves' season you predicted 55 wins. They got 56 in the regular season.

ANNA KNUTSON: Yeah. 56.

CATHY WURZER: Yay for you. Yes.

ANNA KNUTSON: Woo hoo. Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

We were so excited.

CATHY WURZER: So I'm wondering here, we have what we-- all this happening on the court, right. But I'm also kind of curious about what's going on behind closed doors off the court, the drama over the ownership of the Timberwolves and the Lynx. I mean, as fans, are you all following this at all?

ANNA KNUTSON: We're definitely following it. But I think that something we've been talking about, at least in The Boy Lynx world and just with our community is the players don't really get too caught up in any of the ownership drama. And so we're kind of trying not to get super spun up or tied up into it either.

It's just-- the whole thing just feels so messy and really just unfortunate, especially timing-wise. It's just-- we're closing out the best season-- one of the best seasons in Wolves history. And now this is kind of all starting to just take more of those headlines away. And I don't love that.

CATHY WURZER: Right. I mean, clearly, it sounds like it's going to end up in court, which will be a mess.

ANNA KNUTSON: Yeah. Yeah. It will be a mess. And I'm just hopeful that however it ends up it's just good for the Minnesota community and our fan base and for the team. And I hope that whatever comes out of it, too, the Lynx are-- both the Wolves and the Lynx-- yeah, just come out on top. Because it just feels like a mess. [LAUGHS]

CATHY WURZER: Yeah. Yeah. Hey, let's talk about the podcast. In each episode you pick a champ and a chump of the week.

[LAUGHTER]

And it's only Monday, but who are you watching as possible contenders this week?

ANNA KNUTSON: Oh, man. I think champs of the week-- honestly, maybe our champ of the week this week could be whomever the Lynx end up taking tonight in the WNBA draft, which is happening-- I think it's at 6:00 or 6:30 tonight. So super excited to see who they end up going with. I think chump of the week-- ooh, it's been the ownership guys the last two weeks.

[LAUGHTER]

So I don't know if we need them for a third.

CATHY WURZER: Oh, the last two weeks.

ANNA KNUTSON: The last two weeks it's been Glen. And then we added Marc and A-Rod. So man, chump this week. We could go the refs from last night's game, just missing an over-and-back almost twice when Devin Booker had committed the over-and-back. And that was just so frustrating, that play. The first over-and-back that the refs missed resulted in probably a Bradley Beal 3, a 3-pointer for sure. And so that was just painful to see. So maybe the officials. The officials are always at the top of the chump list, though.

CATHY WURZER: Yeah, yeah. They're an easy target. Say, I'm glad you brought up the WNBA draft. It should be really interesting. Are you looking forward to what-- what's the biggest thing you're looking forward to in the draft?

ANNA KNUTSON: I'm honestly just excited to see who the Lynx end up going with. I was really hoping and pulling for Angel Reese. But I don't know if she's going to be around. The Lynx ended up trading their seventh pick for-- with the Chicago Sky for their eighth pick. And so it seems like a lot of the mock drafts have Angel Reese going to the Chicago Sky.

But we'll see. I was hopeful that she would be a Lynx. I think that she's kind of a young Sylvia Fowles. So it's kind of a-- I think that that would have been such a cool pickup for us.

CATHY WURZER: Yeah, it would be, absolutely. Say, I want to go ask about the podcast a little bit more here. I think your name is hysterical, The Boy Lynx.

[LAUGHTER]

Did you come up with the name? And beyond that, why did you start a podcast?

ANNA KNUTSON: Yeah. I guess I'll answer the second question first. We wanted to start a podcast because we feel like, specifically in Minnesota sports podcast space, but just in Minnesota sports in general, it feels very-- there's not very many people who look like Angie and I, two black and brown women talking sports. And we also know that there is a big community of women Timberwolves fans out there, which is really-- we really wanted to create a space for us to just talk about sports and not feel any kind of weird negative energy around that.

And so I feel like we've certainly done that. Building this kind of community has been a real win. We've had the chance to just connect with so many different Wolves fans. We've made tons of new friends and new connections through this podcast, which has just been kind of amazing.

We landed on the name The Boy Lynx because Bria Hartley, who-- we actually had her on our podcast. She's a WNBA player. She went to UConn and was part of that UConn kind of dynasty when they were just winning championship after championship. But her son has actually been around the WNBA for so long that he calls the Timberwolves "the boy Lynx." And we just thought that that was so cute. When he was little tiny, that's what he would call them. And we thought that was so cute, and it just really resonated with us.

We think a lot about high school sports. And it's always like the Lady Tigers or something instead of it just being the Tigers. And so we kind of thought The Boy Lynx was a fun nod to just the championship level play that the Lynx bring to Minnesota. Really our big sports dynasty is the Lynx. So if the Wolves can start pulling that same level of contention each year, we would be so lucky. So yeah.

CATHY WURZER: Let's hope so, for goodness sakes. Jeez.

ANNA KNUTSON: Yeah. Yes.

CATHY WURZER: All right, before you go, what are you going to be watching for here? I mean, are you going to be watching for someone coming off the bench? What are you-- how do you think this is going to shake out here coming up this week?

ANNA KNUTSON: For the Wolves and the kickoff of the--

CATHY WURZER: For the Wolves.

ANNA KNUTSON: For the Wolves. Yeah, you know, I think that we really need to come out ready to go. I think that the super slow starts that we've been having just are not going to work for us in the playoffs. I think that we do have a couple secret weapons in Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Naz Reid. I think if Jaden really could get going, that would be amazing for us. He's been a little hit and miss on the offensive side of things.

But really I think we've been a defensive team this whole season. And defense turns into offense. And I know that when we're clicking on the defensive side of things, we seem to start clicking on the offensive side of things, too. And if we can lock folks up there, and then we start getting these shots to fall, that'll be amazing.

CATHY WURZER: All right. Anna, it's been fun talking to you. All best. Continued good luck and success with the podcast.

ANNA KNUTSON: Thank you so much.

CATHY WURZER: Anna Knudsen's been with us. She's the co-host of the Timberwolves podcast called The Boy Lynx. You gotta love that title. We were talking about the Lynx there for a little bit with the WNBA draft. That is tonight in New York. Lynx have two picks in the first three rounds. We'll see what happens there.

Twins, by the way-- might as well put a baseball note in here. Twins begin the series today in Baltimore against the Orioles. They surrendered a lead yesterday in Detroit, lost to the Tigers 4 to 3. Weather, before we go off to the news-- not bad today around the region. We have sunshine for the most part. Temperatures in the 50s and 60s. The hotspot appears to be Worthington, where it's 70 degrees. 66 in Austin and Albert Lea. We'll check that forecast for you in just a couple of minutes here along with news headlines.

Thanks for listening to Minnesota Now here on MPR News.

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