Dissecting Wolves' clutch problem

Kevin Martin, Minnesota's lack of D have led to terrible end-of-game efforts

Updated: April 14, 2014, 5:50 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

Kevin Martin, Al-Farouq AminuCrystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY SportsKevin Martin has struggled mightily in clutch situations this season.
Another day, another gut-punch loss in the closing seconds for the Minnesota Timberwolves. This time it was the Sacramento Kings that nipped the Wolves by a measly three points.

As we wrap up the regular season this week with detailed postmortems, the Timberwolves might be an afterthought. After all, they just missed the playoffs for the 10th consecutive season. What else is new?

Well, let's stop right there, because this Timberwolves season has been historically heart-wrenching. Of all the numbers we've come across this season, nothing quite hits us like the Timberwolves' crushing late-game performance.

I present to you the single craziest stat of the 2013-14 season: In one-possession games (score within three) in the final minute -- also known as "superclutch" situations -- the Timberwolves have been outscored by 49 points in 22 minutes of action this season. I repeat: 49 points.

Minnesota's opponents have scored 96 points to the Timberwolves' 47. The Timberwolves have been more than doubled up in these tight situations. The result is that, when it should be a coin flip in these situations, Minnesota has lost 18 of those 25 games.

So what happened in Minnesota this season?

Actually, we probably should have seen this coming.

The curse of Kevin Martin