It hasn’t all been smooth sailing since Jimmy Butler went down, but there has been a fair amount of hope.
When Jimmy Butler went down in the first game out of the All-Star break, things looked dire for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Karl-Anthony Towns is a generational offensive talent, and Andrew Wiggins has two-way potential oozing through the Twin Cities. However, Butler had been the mental, spiritual, and physical leader of the Wolves all season long.
With Jimmy G. Buckets at the helm, his team was sitting pretty in the fourth seed (32-26) in fierce Western Conference playoff race. Butler was rightfully a fringe MVP candidate and the Timberwolves were a sneaky dark horse out West.
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Without their mentor and leader, Towns and Wiggins have led their squad to an 8-8 record, with some encouraging wins (Golden State, Washington) and some putrid losses (Philadelphia, Memphis).
It just hasn’t been the same kind of imposing basketball the Wolves were flashing with Butler around.
Although we shouldn’t worry about that for much longer, with the former Chicago Bull recently cleared for full contact practice, meaning his return to the playoff run will not be far behind.
With Butler’s imminent return, many things will change in Wolves world, there has been much to learn from a long stretch of tough games without the team’s best player.
Let’s have a look.