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Timberwolves coach Finch to undergo knee surgery ahead of Western Conference semifinals

Nikola Jokic is the 2023 Bill Russell Finals MVP award winner. Photo credit: raymondclarkeimages

Nikola Jokic cropped” by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .

Minnesota Timberwolves coach Chris Finch is set to undergo surgery on the knee injury he suffered in a collision with Mike Conley Jr. on Sunday, but is hopeful of being on the bench for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Saturday.

Conley collided with his coach after getting hit while dribbling down the sidelines during the Wolves’ 122-116 win over the Phoenix Suns, which clinched a 4-0 series sweep for the West’s second seeds.

They will face the defending NBA champions, the Denver Nuggets, in the next round after Jamal Murray sank a last-gasp winner to wrap up their series with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.

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However, Finch’s spot on the bench at Ball Arena is in doubt after widespread reports suggested he requires surgery to repair his right patellar tendon.

Finch – who finished third in the voting for the NBA’s Coach of the Year award last week – will reportedly have his knee immobilised in a brace in the initial stages of his recovery.

Reports say assistant Micah Nori will take over coaching duties for Game 1 if Finch is unable to do so, with the Minnesota coach communicating to the bench from the locker room.

The Wolves’ triumph over the Suns was their first series win in 20 years, and they have reached the playoffs in all three of their seasons under Finch, having only done so once in the previous 17 campaigns.

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