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Malik Beasley suggests Timberwolves should have won this series in five games

“We honestly think it should be 4-1 right now,” Beasley said. “We should be resting, just like Golden State.”

NBA: Playoffs-Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves; Malik Beasley
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley (5) shoots against the Memphis Grizzlies center Xavier Tillman (2) in the third quarter on April 21 during game one of the three round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Target Center.
Brad Rempel / USA Today Sports
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Despite trailing a best-of-7-games series 3-2, putting their backs against the wall and their season on the brink of elimination, the Minnesota Timberwolves still are not lacking for confidence — at least not publicly.

“We’re waiting for (Friday’s Game 6), then it’ll be a Game 7 and then go straight to Golden State,” Minnesota guard Malik Beasley said. “That’s how we feel. We feel confident and ready to get it done.”

That was one of three times Beasley brought up, the Warriors — who finished off Denver in five games Wednesday to secure its place in the Western Conference semifinals, where it’ll meet either Memphis or Minnesota. Beasley thinks that should already have been determined.

“We honestly think it should be 4-1 right now,” Beasley said. “We should be resting, just like Golden State.”

The Wolves have given away two large second-half leads in this series. Had they closed both, they could have dispatched Memphis in five games. But they didn’t.

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“We made some mistakes. We’re a young team. We got to learn from it and bounce back,” Beasley said. “We feel confident and we’re going to get (Friday’s game) and take one game at a time.”

Because the Wolves, Beasley noted, aren’t yet ready to go home. Beasley knows how his calendar looks at the moment: Game 6 on Friday in Minnesota, Game 7 on Sunday in Memphis, then Game 1 on Tuesday in San Francisco.

“So we’re ready to play and we’re going to continue to keep going,” Beasley said. “It’s going to be a quick turnaround when we play Golden State.”

BOUNCEBACK BEASLEY?

After a scintillating start to the series, Beasley has struggled to get going offensively.

The sharpshooter made four three-pointers en route to a 23-point showing in Minnesota’s Game 1 victory. Since then, he’s averaging just 6.5 points a game, shooting 39 percent from the field and 33 percent from deep. Beasley has played fewer than 15 minutes in each of the past two games.

He noted it’s been difficult to get going from the outside because Memphis is closing out so hard on him on the perimeter. After trying 10 triples in Game 1, he has taken just 12 total over the past four games combined.

“I have to make sure if I have a shot, I have a shot, but if not, make the right play and get to the hole,” Beasley said. “They shrink the paint a lot, so get out, hit threes or hit the other guy that’s open.”

Beasley likened his predicament to that of Grizzlies star shooter Desmond Bane.

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“We don’t want him making any threes, and they don’t want me making no threes,” Beasley said. “So I’ve got to play into that and learn how to make the right reads if I get the ball.”

The early postseason struggles haven’t shaken Beasley’s confidence in his shot.

“Just got to get some up,” he said, “and get better looks.”

INJURY UPDATE

Memphis will be without Steven Adams, who the team announced entered health and safety protocols on Thursday. Adams has played sparingly since he struggled against Karl-Anthony Towns in Game 1. The Grizzlies are also likely to be sans defensive wing Ziaire Williams, who is doubtful with knee soreness.

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