Why You Should Watch the Minnesota Timberwolves:
Current Record: 16-28, 12th in Western Conference
The Minnesota Timberwolves really bounced back nicely as they moved on from the Kevin Love era. It all started in 2014 when Cleveland traded Andrew Wiggins, the former #1 draft pick to Minnesota for Kevin Love in a 3-way trade with the 76ers. Luck was on their side the following year, which they were able to get another #1 draft pick, which became Karl-Anthony Towns. They went on to hire Tom Thibodeau last year, as their new coach and president of basketball operations. This marked the beginning of a new era, as the Timberwolves has a young core of blossoming talent.
So how good are the Timberwolves? Let’s take a look at Karl-Anthony Towns.
Towns became the 5th player in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year honors by a unanimous vote.
Not bad company at all.
Towns led all rookies in points per game (18.3), rebounds per game (10.5), double-doubles (51) and Player Efficiency Rating (22.6).
This year? He has taken his game to another level. Towns is averaging 22.5 PPG 12 RPG 3 APG on the year. It’s safe to safe he’s only going to get better. Besides the fact that KAT is a walking mismatch at his position, he’s also capable of anchoring the defense in the paint. Kevin Garnett in his last year was basically a mentor to Towns, in which he credited Town’s success for always being in the gym. And you know what? Towns just turned 21. Town’s is going to be an MVP candidate for years to come if he can elevate his team in the standings. He’s box office.
How many 7-footers can do that in the NBA?
The small forward and shooting guard position is pretty much set in stone for the next decade as well with Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. Both are athletic dynamic guards who is capable of putting up 25 points a game. Although they have much to improve on the defensive end, their scoring prowess and athleticism causes opposing teams problems on the other end.
We haven’t even talked much about Ricky Rubio, who is still a very serviceable point-guard in this league. His presence will make things easier for the core players on this team in Towns, Wiggins, and LaVine. It will also help the rookie Kris Dunn as he gets adjusted to the NBA. Dunn was a great two-way player in college, but has struggled to fit into the NBA, where you won’t find much minutes on the court if you can’t shoot the basketball.
The Timberwolves has plenty of time to improve, as Tom Thibodeau was a great hire and fit for his young up and coming squad. The Wolves are hungry, and the rest of the league will hear their howls for years to come.