Prior to heading out to Miami, Timberwolves’ coach Chris Finch had two orders of business.

No. 1, pass out bucket hats to all of the players. When in Miami, right? Anthony Edwards’ hat said “Golf,” while Karl-Anthony Towns, fittingly, received a Kentucky Wildcats lid.

Secondly, Finch gave out a giant key — symbolic for the key to the “coach’s suite,” to Timberwolves veteran Ed Davis.

Davis was granted Finch’s suite during the team’s stay in Miami for his veteran leadership. Finch officially declared the day — May 6, 2021 — Ed Davis Appreciation Day.

Davis has hardly played since Finch arrived in Minnesota, as the team has focused almost entirely on the players of its future, yet has only been of assistance to Finch and the younger players.

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“Ed Davis has been an unbelievable vet for our young guys. For me, as a rookie coach coming in, I couldn’t ask for a guy who is more solid, stable and just supportive of what we’re doing, what I’m doing,” Finch said. “All that (celebration) was just kind of a way to reward him and couch it in something that was also fun for the team.”

Still, the hats were cool, and provided another instance of team building and, frankly, are just fun. That, Finch said, is “extremely important.”

“We all started to play this game for the joy of it. We love it,” Finch said. “It’s been a really long year for everybody for a lot of reasons. Everyone has their own reasons why it’s been long to them, not long necessarily in that it’s a bad year or anything. But you gotta try to break up the mood. We want these guys to finish strong. They’re playing pretty well on the floor. They’re doing a lot of things we’re asking them to. We want them to also enjoy being a part of this organization, enjoying each other. Any way we can break it up, make it a little bit more light-hearted, we try to do that.”

A word with officials

Pelicans’ star forward Zion Williamson is sidelined with a broken finger, an injury New Orleans vice president David Griffin placed on the shoulders of NBA officials.

“I’m really frustrated because this was avoidable,” Griffin said. “We told the NBA through every means available to us, through sending in film, through speaking to everybody in the official’s department and everybody in basketball operations, that the way they were officiating Zion was going to get him injured.

“Quite frankly, he’s injured now because of the open season there’s been on Zion Williamson in the paint. He’s been absolutely mauled in the paint on a regular basis, to the point that other players have said to him, ‘I’m going to keep doing this to you because they don’t call it.’ There’s more violence encouraged in the paint against Zion Williamson than any player I’ve seen since Shaq. It was egregious and horrific then, and the same is true now.”

How does this relate to Minnesota? Because Finch has had similar complaints over the way Karl-Anthony Towns is officiated.

“We have spoken to the league about different issues regarding Karl and other players on our team. Specifically, not necessarily around the level of contact per se or anything to do with what they said in New Orleans, I don’t really make any comment on that,” Finch said. “I would just say that with Karl our conversations centered around an ultra-skilled guy on the perimeter that’s a big guy needs to be reffed in the same way that two guards would be.”