Predicting how many games will the Minnesota Timberwolves win in 2020-21

Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The predictions are in, and it’s time to take a look at what the experts think about the Minnesota Timberwolves’ final win total in 2020-21.

The Minnesota Timberwolves will be improved in 2020-21. Pretty much everyone agrees on that.

But by how much? Can they challenge for a playoff spot, or at least the play-in games?

Let’s turn to the various analysts and experts, including the projection models at sites such as FiveThirtyEight and ESPN, and take a look at what the Wolves’ most likely range might be for a final win total.

Experts predict the Minnesota Timberwolves’ win total floor

There are a few analysts who don’t think that the Minnesota Timberwolves will actually improve that much upon last year’s 19-45 campaign.

The lowest projection is by ESPN’s “forecast”, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the least scientific method of them all. The rankings and predicted win totals seem to have been landed upon by surveying a handful of ESPN’s experts and writers, and it doesn’t look like there were any statistical models incorporated.

At any rate, ESPN ranked the Wolves at No. 13 in the West, in a virtual tie with No. 14 Sacramento and finishing with only 28 wins on the season (subscription required). There isn’t much commentary on this ranking, other than stating that the Wolves should still be in the mix to make a run at the No. 10 spot and the play-in game in the West.

The same forecast also has Houston No. 11 with only 31 wins, apparently assuming that James Harden is traded sooner rather than later.

Similarly, ESPN’s Zach Lowe ranks the Wolves at the bottom of his “Chasing No. 10” category (subscription required) and a full tier below the group of teams he believes are battling for the No. 8, 9, and 10 spots in the West. While he doesn’t attach a proposed win total, Lowe is clearly dubious about the Wolves’ chances this year.

Within ESPN’s full season preview, their BPI Index has the Wolves at only 30 wins this year, which is the lowest of any of the models that we took a look at. BPI takes into account point differential and strength of schedule, among other factors.

Still, that mark would be slightly above where most of the sportsbooks have the Wolves’ over/under total set, usually at 29 or 29.5 wins.

Now, let’s get to some of the more optimistic takes…