2004 Wolves: 7th Best Team To NOT Win It All


Yahoo recently compiled a list of the best teams this decade to not win a title, and our notoriously underachieving hometown team made the list. While we may not have been the best team on that list, I feel our team could have finished better than 7th simply because we lost in 6 to the “Dream Team” (the Lakers… again.. ugh.) without our arguably best second best player.

While I would have had the Kings at #1 simply because the refs knocked them out of the playoffs, I would have had the Wolves ahead of Portland (#4) and LA’s “Dream Team” (#6), I also would have put all three of these teams ahead of Yahoo’s #1 choice, the 08-09 Cavaliers. How outrageous is it that they put a team that has 1 great player and a slew of role players above all of these great teams? If anything, this team didn’t even deserve to get as far as they did. They just happened to get an easy schedule to that point. KG and Cassell could have single handedly torn down that squad.

Anywho, here’s the writeup on the Wolves:

7. Minnesota Timberwolves, 2003-04

Kevin Garnett’s lone MVP season saw him at his absolute peak, and for just about the only time in his NBA career, he was paired with a player worth Garnett’s time. It wasn’t a Big Three, Latrell Sprewell was pretty average in his second-to-last season, but Sam Cassell’s 20-point, seven-assist season paired nicely with Garnett’s ridiculous all-court combination of league-best defense and 24 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and 3.7 combined steals and blocks.

It may have won a championship, too, had Cassell not come up lame in the postseason with a bum hamstring. With their All-Star out, Darrick Martin, Fred Hoiberg and even Kevin Garnett had to bring the ball past half court for the Wolves, who lost in the conference finals to the Lakers. The season also saw one of the great Game 7 performances of all time, as Garnett notched 32 points, 21 rebounds, five blocks, four steals, two assists and two turnovers in the second round against Sacramento, ridiculous numbers for such a low scoring (83-80) game.

See also: A Royal Pain