Life without Jimmy: Playing big and scoring big

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Losing Jimmy Butler brings forth several alterations in both how the Minnesota Timberwolves play, as well as the lineup combinations in which they use. Let’s take a look at how this will impact their success.

Jimmy Butler’s knee injury last Friday in Houston set into action potentially the largest collective held breath from a fan base in Minnesota sports history.

Before claiming how big of an overstatement that last sentence looks like, just try to think of a player who meant as much to a Minnesota sports team as Butler does to the Wolves, at a time where their popularity is reaching levels not seen in over a decade, suffering a potentially crippling injury that would set him out for nearly a full year.

The diagnosis of a meniscal-injury (which is perhaps the vaguest definition of an ailment the team could possibly come up with) was a huge sigh of relief for the entire franchise. Although meniscus injuries can also carry some difficult long-term effects and degeneration – think Dwyane Wade – the overall prognosis of the injury is thought to be much less severe than the vaunted ACL tear the world of sports is so well versed with.

The good news is the timeline for return is looked at in weeks instead of months.

The bad news is the Wolves now find themselves in a bloodbath of a conference heading into the most difficult stretch of their season without their best player.

The first couple of games have revealed a stylistic change in the team with both their personnel groupings and the way in which they must now try and win.