We’re approaching the middle of November, and the 2022-23 NBA season is nearly a month old. In the last three and a half weeks, we’ve learned a good deal about the Minnesota Timberwolves.
They’re a team stacked with talent and loaded with potential. But in the early stages of the season, things have been a bit more ugly and chaotic than anticipated. Minnesota has suffered some inexplicable losses and had more than a few frustrating moments.
However, such is the nature of the beast when discussing a team that replaced two starters and a plethora of bench players from last season’s team. Integrating a complex new system with the addition of a player like Rudy Gobert was never going to be seamless.
With that in mind, the Timberwolves’ situation may not be as bleak as it currently appears to be. While they’re barely in the play-in picture at the moment, there’s a low chance they don’t get any better between now and April.
For Minnesota to be a playoff team by the end of the season, there’s several teams they’ll need to surpass in the standings. Let’s take a look at five teams the Timberwolves should be better than before the end of the calendar year.
1. San Antonio Spurs
Let’s start with the team currently directly above Minnesota in the standings. After suffering two losses to the Spurs in three contests so far this season, the Timberwolves have shown their inability to handle teams far below their talent level.
This should be obvious when you compare the rosters of the Wolves and Spurs, because the talent disparity is rather shocking. Minnesota boasts two of the most gifted big men in the NBA, and one of the best young guards to boot.
The Spurs have some worthwhile pieces, yes, but not one player that’s on the level of the Timberwolves’ top line of talent. The fact that Minnesota took two early losses to a subpar team like San Antonio is concerning, but it helped expose shortcomings that will only make the team better in the end.
It’s also important to note than the Spurs have already begun to slip in the standings. After a red hot 5-2 start, San Antonio has lost five games in a row. They’re slowly coming back down to earth, and it shouldn’t be long before the Timberwolves surpass them in the standings.