Timberwolves may not be missing their leader after all for series with Nuggets

Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Almost nothing went wrong for the Timberwolves in their round one series sweep against the Phoenix Suns. But there was a bit of bad luck with a somewhat unlikely and unusual injury. In game four, point guard Mike Conley ran out of bounds and actually collided with his head coach Chris Finch.

Finch tore his patellar tendon on the play and required surgery, which he received on Wednesday. Finch will need six months to fully recover from the injury and the leg may need to be immobilized as part of his recovery.

Major injury suffered by Timberwolves coach Chris Finch

For those reasons, there were doubts about Finch’s ability to coach against the Nuggets. It was reported that the Wolves would likely be led by assistant coach Micah Nori. The belief was that Finch would be watching the game from a remote location and communicating with Nori during the game via headset.

This certainly wouldn’t be an ideal situation for the Wolves as Finch was a Coach of the Year candidate this season and has done a great job with this team. Nori is a capable assistant, but it would still be a dramatic change for a crucial series.

Finch will be seated near the bench

But now a new report from Shams Charania of The Athletic says that Finch will actually be on the court seated near the bench. Nori will still take on a more active coaching role and he’ll likely be up front and center, but he’ll have Finch right there with him.

This must be a relief for the Wolves as they’ll now have Finch’s voice right in their ears during games. I’m sure it will still be an adjustment and not exactly what they are used to, but this seems like a best-case scenario of sorts.

This is setting up to be an incredible Western Conference Semifinals series and it would be a shame for it to be marred in any way by injury - especially such a freak accident not even an injury to a player. Now hopefully this will largely be a nonstory and the teams can about with business like usual. We don’t want any excuses after all.