Tom Thibodeau: Timberwolves' defense has taken 'quantum leap'

Since letting up 142 points in a loss to the Houston Rockets on Feb. 25, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been the top-ranked defense in the NBA — a small sample size, no doubt, but an improvement first-year head coach Tom Thibodeau calls a “quantum leap.”

“We’re moving in the right direction. The numbers will tell you that, and we look at them every day,” Thibodeau told reporters in Minnesota after Wednesday night’s 107-91 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. “I believe we’re down to 13th now in points allowed (on the season), so that’s a quantum leap, and it’s still not where it needs to be, and we have to understand that.”

Thibodeau, revered for his defensive-minded approach during his five seasons with the Chicago Bulls, was hired in April to help push Minnesota’s young core of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine to new heights. The Timberwolves have shown flashes throughout the season, but — plagued by repeated late-game collapses and…

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