Realistic expectations for the Timberwolves in 2015-16


The Minnesota Timberwolves will hit the court in just a few days….finally.

It’s all starting just in time, because I’m running out of highlight videos on YouTube that feature Timberwolves players. I even bought this genuine Timberwolves hoop for my apartment door today. I’M ALL IN!

The Timberwolves have a chance to turn some heads and play some real competitive basketball in the Western Conference this season. I’m not convinced that they’ll make the playoffs this season, but I am convinced that we will win at least 33 games. It’s not a lot of wins, but it’s a major improvement over what we’re used to, by and large.

Last year, I thought people were over-projecting the Minnesota Timberwolves because we wanted to see a competitive product on the floor so badly. But this season? I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a chance to win forty games.

One of the biggest reasons that I believe the Wolves can approach 40 wins is the addition of Karl-Anthony Towns. In Summer League, Towns was beyond impressive, showing skills that I didn’t think he had at this stage.

He showed a strong low-post game in Summer League, but his passing ability is why I’m so excited about him. For a big man who only played one year in college to possess the passing ability that he showed is so amazing. Normally it takes players a half-decade in the NBA to understand passing principles — especially from the post.

Don’t look at the obvious (points, mostly). Look at how he sets up his teammates.

Another reason why I believe the Wolves can win close to 40 games is the improvement of the young players.

I can’t stress enough the importance of having a wing player that can close-out games. You need a player that can take defenses off the dribble late in games and Wiggins should be able to do that. One of the improvements Wiggins wanted to build this off-season was his ball-handling.

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Ricky Rubio will be fine at the point guard position if he can stay on the court — people either talk about Rubio like he’s the most irreplaceable player in the NBA or they talk about Rubio like he’s the most replaceable player in the NBA. He’s somewhere in-between, but he’s definitely not a star or a scrub.

Shabazz Muhammad will be solid. Zach LaVine will have his ups and downs. Kevin Martin will start out strong like he normally does and fade as the season continues — he isn’t getting any younger.

I’m very excited about the intensity that Kevin Garnett will bring. Garnett-like intensity cannot be taught, but it can rub off onto other players and that’s what we should all hope for. Imagine Wiggins and LaVine with a “you can’t stop me” attitude both offensively and defensively. That would be amazing.

As far as the team’s standing in the Western Conference, the Wolves could be neck-and-neck with the Utah Jazz all season. The Wolves and Jazz are both young and talented with bright futures and it wouldn’t be all too surprising if the Wolves and Jazz became bitter rivals.

And, of course, one of the things that you can always count on me doing here on Dunking With Wolves…



The Phoenix Suns will be decent. The Portland Trailblazers will be much worse. The Dallas Mavericks will fall a bit. The Sacramento Kings have a lot of talent, but they’re the Kings. The Denver Nuggets will be poor and the Los Angeles Lakers will win around 30 games.

With all that said, I believe that the Wolves will finish 10th in the Western Conference.

Don’t expect the Wolves to make the playoffs this year because they are still very young, but do expect a much improved team that will compete in almost every game.

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