It might not be much consolation, given that both are headed to the draft lottery, but the Miami Heat and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns each made history in their regular-season finales.
Let’s start with the Heat, who clawed back from the biggest win-loss deficit the NBA has ever seen to finish the year at 41-41. Unfortunately, since the Chicago Bulls owned the tiebreaker in the playoff hunt, Miami just missed out on a postseason berth.
The Heat were 19 games below .500 on January 13th; according to ESPN and the Miami broadcast, no team more than 12 games below .500 had made it back to an even record before.
Karl-Anthony Towns, meanwhile, became the first player in NBA history to score 2,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds and make 100 3-pointers in a season:
COUNT 'EM ???
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) April 13, 2017
That milestone requires a little bit of context. First, there have only been 47 2,000-point/1,000-rebound seasons in the NBA in the first place, including Towns’ 2016-17 campaign (via Basketball-Reference). Second, just 11 of those have come since the NBA instituted the 3-point line. Finally, the previous record for most 3-pointers made in a 2,000/1,000 season was … three, set by David Robinson in 1995-96.
Watched him Sunday in LA. Beast. All timer eventually. https://t.co/0BiSs9ufx8
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) April 13, 2017
Now, with all that said, Towns is going to be an absolute phenom. We can’t wait to see what he brings to the table next season.