MINNEAPOLIS -- After the latest loss in a season that has been full of them for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns sat at his locker with his face buried in his hands.For at least the third time this season, the 21-year-old NBA sophomore put the entire blame on himself and his perceived inability to lead a young and promising roster out of the abyss.The more losses we keep accumulating, the more it feels like its my fault, Towns said after the massively disappointing Wolves fell to 5-12 with a 112-103 home loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday night. Ive got to look myself in the mirror and Ive got to play better. Ive got to play a level where we cant lose and help my teammates out the best I can. I didnt do that tonight. I havent done it recently.That kind of accountability can be admirable on its face. It shows that Towns is invested in turning one of the leagues perennial losers into a playoff team for the first time in 13 years. But that pressure can also be crushing, and the team that many observers pegged for a breakout season after adding coach Tom Thibodeau last summer appears to be playing with a weight on its shoulders that has been too heavy to carry as the season nears the quarter pole.With Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Ricky Rubio and Kris Dunn, the Timberwolves have one of the most athletic and exciting young rosters in the league. But the enthusiasm and ebullience that so often comes with youth is nowhere to be found on the faces of these Wolves during games. They play with a joylessness that belies their billing as the leagues Next Big Thing, as if 12 years of failure that this core has had little to do with is serving as cement around their shoes.They went into the locker room at halftime on Monday night down just five points. By the looks on their faces and the slumps in their shoulders, one would have thought the deficit was 20.Towns -- the reigning rookie of the year -- is right in one respect. He has struggled mightily on the defensive end after showing so much potential there as a rookie. He must play better and give more consistent effort in that area if the Wolves are going to pull themselves out of the doldrums they reside in at the moment.All these losses fall on my shoulders, Towns said. None of the coaching staff. None of my teammates. This is my fault. I dont think its anyones fault but myself. Its something Ive got to fix. Ive got to change for the better for us. I guess its back to the drawing board tomorrow.Clearly, the responsibility lies more than just with Towns. Their point guard play has been subpar, their bench almost nonexistent and Thibodeau has not yet parlayed his mastery of strategy and Xs and Os into a workable formula for this particular group.He seethed in his postgame remarks after the Jazz loss, calling the second and fourth quarters a disaster and vowing to get to the bottom of the issues that plague them.Its very concerning from the standpoint of you want to be making progress, Thibodeau said. Thats the important thing. Every day make progress, make progress. We didnt make progress today. Thats something that has to be corrected.Players collectively appear to be at a loss.The messages are getting through, but theres a difference between saying something and actually doing it, Wiggins said.Three starters are 21 and the only true veteran playing significant minutes is Rubio, who missed time earlier in the season with a sprained elbow and has not played in three straight fourth quarters. Brandon Rush and Cole Aldrich, the two veterans the Wolves signed in the summer to buttress the young core, are playing scant minutes. That has forced the youngsters to have to grow up even faster from a leadership perspective, which may be an even bigger challenge than rising up against Rudy Gobert at the rim.Its something I know I can carry, Towns said. I never said it was going to be easy. But its something I know I can deal with.It all adds up to a player, and a team, that is too tight. The competitive fire that drives so many of them right now threatens to burn down their own house and has led, Towns said, to many a sleepless night as they search for answers.Its been long, long nights, Towns said. Again, its going to be one of those nights, I guess. Youre just trying to find ways to win.---Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynskiAntonio Brown Womens Jersey . 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A decision has seemingly been made - Sundays Group B-deciding tilt against Finland ahead - but it could not have been an easy one. Price opened the tournament with a sturdy 19-save performance against the Norwegians, yielding just one goal.Beginning Friday, eight Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams from North America, Brazil and Europe will compete for their share of a $750,000 prize pool.Tournament organizer FACEIT and Twitchs Esports Championship Series (ECS) Season 2 Finals event in Anaheim, California, will put the nail in the final event of the Counter-Strike leagues. The tournament will round out the year before teams head to Atlanta to compete for their spot in the first major in 2017, the ELeague major.Spots for the Esports Championship Series finals have been earned through two online leagues, one in Europe and one in North America. While previous ECS finals events have been a wash for European teams, this weekends event gives a boiling North America -- which has taken first in two offline events recently -- a chance at another title.The Group A dilemmaCloud9 Optic Gaming FaZe Clan AstralisIts no secret in Counter-Strike that offline and online performances can vary tremendously. Often times, teams that perform well offline can struggle when competing online, particularly in league matches, as opposed to offline events on the weekends. That issue has led us to Group A of the ECS Finals, which features four teams that have had decent performances online, but stellar performances offline, in the past few months.Group A will pit North Americas Cloud9 and OpTic Gaming against Europes FaZe Clan and Astralis. The group will showcase a rematch between ELeague Season 2 finalists Astralis and OpTic Gaming on Friday. These teams both went against the odds in their ELeague playoff runs over the past weeks, with the finals series going to OpTic, an unexpected victor.But dont discredit Cloud9 or FaZe. Since buying out Finn karrigan Andersen from Astralis and later moving Fabien kioShiMa Fiey back onto the team, FaZe has seen some of its best results, recently taking third/fourth in ELeague after a semifinal loss to OpTic. Now, karrigan will get a chance to lead his band of Europeans into battle against his former team.As for Cloud9, the team has also seen an improvement in performance since adding former Team SoloMid player Timothy autimatic Ta to the lineup.dddddddddddd In late October, the team took first at the ESL Pro League finals -- ending a 10-year drought of a North American team not winning a premiere event. But the teams shaky performances at the Americas Minor and DreamHack Winter leave much to be desired, so Cloud9 will need to fight to the death if it wants to advance out of the group.Lions, tigers and stand-ins -- oh my!SK Gaming Team Dignitas Immortals Team EnVyUsAt face value, Group B should go to SK Gaming and Team Dignitas. The former has been the best team in the world throughout 2016, and the latter has had a stellar fall. But not all is fun and games at ECS; both of those teams have stand-ins.Team Dignitas star rifler Emil Magiskb0Y Reif will sit out of the event as he returns home to Denmark to complete school exams. The team will use Heroics Valdemar valde Bj?rn Vangs? in his place.Meanwhile, SK Gaming benched Lincoln fnx Lau due to different opinions on how to develop the team after a rough period of performances. In his place will be former FaZe Clan Portuguese rifler Ricardo fox Pacheco, who has never competed with the team but speaks Portuguese, so theres no language barrier.Those stand-ins shake up the group, with Immortals looking competitive until SK Gaming likely makes a bid for one of its players, considering both teams have swapped players back and forth in the past few years. Its likely that Immortals will make it out of this group, due to Dignitas and SK Gamings predictable lack of coordination.While EnVyUs will also participate in Group B, the team probably wont make it out, except if there are hard flops from disjointed versions of Team Dignitas and SK Gaming. But if DreamHack Winter is any indication of unexpected winners, EnVyUs could enjoy some kind of run. ' ' '