Timberwolves

Cliché T-Wolves Can’t Sink Any Further

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have been on a near-historic losing streak, with the horrendous 6-20 start among the top-10 worst starts in team history.

This start stings even more than some of the previous ones for a number of different reasons. The team isn’t exactly coming off a highly successful stretch like they were during the 2007-08 season, they aren’t a new team with exciting potential like they were in 1990-91, and they don’t have a top-tier NBA talent like they had during the Kevin Garnett-era or the Jimmy Butler years.

Cliché Saying

Instead, Minnesota has a crop of young talent with a lot of potential (though it feels like we say that every year), the promise of a shortened season (so at least the misery won’t be long endured), and comfort in the knowledge that it couldn’t possibly get any worse.

In fact, things are actually starting to look up.

Many Reasons for Optimism Remain for Middling Wolves

Rock Bottom

To put it bluntly, the Timberwolves are at rock bottom. That’s where they are in terms of standings and their ability as a team. They are on pace to have the fourth-worst shooting percentage and the seventh-worst free-throw percentage in team history. The plethora of injuries has exposed some major holes the team needs to fill yet, such as getting a strong defensive player to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns for when Towns goes down, and likely developing at least one of their shooters into a player who can make 3s with consistency.

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Ever-Lasting Optimism Continues

It shouldn’t be all gloom and doom in Minnesota, though. In fact, despite the absolutely horrible weather of the past weeks, there’s actually a lot of reason for optimism. Malik Beasley is transitioning into the player the Timberwolves needed him to be– less streaky and more consistent.

The team opted to keep fan-favorite Jordan McLaughlin, lending credence to the idea that they could be looking to develop him into a role player for the future. If Ricky Rubio continues to mentor D’Angelo Russell, he could shape up to be a dangerous threat. Plus, Towns is still performing phenomenally even with every single excuse not to.

Not only that, the young newcomers seem to be meeting or exceeding expectations set for them at the start of the season. Anthony Edwards has firmly shaken off any comparisons to Andrew Wiggins by showing up to work each and every game, Naz Reid is developing into the diamond in the rough that he was purported to be, and Jarred Vanderbilt and Jaden McDaniels have both taken pivotal steps in their development.

It should also be worth noting that the super-duo of Russell and KAT have only played five games together since Russell was brought to the team around a year ago. Having so few games where your two best players are both in the game isn’t going to bode too well for any team, let alone one where the roster is assembled around the best player that goes down for 18 games to start the season.

So even though things seem bleak right now, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been here before. Some of their worst seasons came before the boom that the team experienced in the early 2000s, and fans should hold on to that small glimmer of hope.

And if nothing else, it’s important to remember that there’s practically nowhere else to go but up.

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About Ethan Becker

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