Thibodeau told reporters after Saturday night’s game that only one thing mattered: the outcome.
“I think sometimes people get lost in statistics in this league,” he said. “Sometimes, stats don’t translate to winning. And I think the winning part is important.”
Despite poor offensive performances from Wiggins and Covington, the Wolves beat the Chicago Bulls 111-96. To Thibodeau, the victory was proof that the Wolves have constructed a roster that can absorb an off-night by two starters. Karl-Anthony Towns had 35 points and 22 rebounds. Derrick Rose had 22 points off the bench and Jeff Teague added 18.
It was the first time in Wiggins’ career that he did not score. Wiggins, who signed a maximum contract in Minnesota in 2017, finished with 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 turnover in 29 minutes. He was 0-for-12 from the field, missing four 3-pointers.
“It is always tough to miss shots,” Wiggins said.
Covington finished with 4 points on 1-of-18 shooting, with 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals and 3 blocks. He and Towns fouled out of the game. According to Elias, Covington and Wiggins had the lowest combined field goal percentage in a game (minimum 25 attempts) for two starters since 1970-71, the first season when starters were tracked.
Covington didn’t let his poor performance affect his mood afterward. He fielded questions from reporters for nearly 20 minutes and stayed around to joke with Towns.
“I have the mentality that I miss one, the next one I’m going to make,” Covington said. “You ain’t going to hit every shot. If one thing is not going well, you’ve got to bring the other things. That’s what I built my reputation on: becoming a two-way player.”
Perhaps fatigue played a factor. It was Minnesota’s third game in four days. But none of that matters, so long as the Wolves are winning.
“The first thing we told Andrew is he came in here and we just laughed with him,” Towns said. “Everyone has a night like that. We have pretty good confidence he will come out and be just fine next game.”