It certainly feels all doomy and gloomy for the Minnesota Timberwolves right now, doesn’t it? This is a team that made wholesale changes to their roster, traded a colossal package of assets for an All-Star center, and then tried to build the roster to the new specifications of Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly. And yet, here we are.
The Timberwolves played 36 games in the 2021-2022 NBA season to arrive at a record of 16-20. They are now at 16-21 as the team must now take up the challenges of 2023. How ironic is it that the Minnesota Timberwolves have now played 36 games in the 2022-2023 NBA season to arrive at a record of 16-20?
For all of the changes this Timberwolves team has undergone, from the front office makeover to the recently renovated Timberwolves roster, the path led back to the same starting point, 16-20. It’s come full circle now.
After all of the new and improved messaging, this team feels like a familiar same-old formula, the new and improved laundry detergent that is the same formula in new packaging, the 2023 version of a team that looks like the 2021 version, walks like the 2021 version, and sounds like the 2021 version.
Round and round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows . . .
Nobody said it would be easy to crack the code, to rise from a once-every-so-often NBA Playoff team to a perennial powerhouse in professional basketball. Right now, amidst the chaos of not having time to sort things out with the new faces on the roster in training camp through the short but vital preseason games, there was no time to set a realistic timetable. This is a team that for all intents and purposes had been conducting the NBA version of on-the-job training or OJT.
Since the season has begun, the Timberwolves have played 36 games, only to find themselves back at GO! without the benefit of collecting $200 (a Parker Bros. Monopoly board game reference). The problem is that of those 36 games, the team has been missing vital players:
- Name Position # games
Karl-Anthony Towns PF/C 21
Taurean Prince PF 18
Jordan McLaughlin PG 18
D’Angelo Russell PG 34
Rudy Gobert C 30
Jaden McDaniels SF 33
Kyle Anderson PF/SF 26
Complicating the matter further, the injuries have not been concurrent, so the team has been forced to make do with a new rotation and lineup almost custom-built for each game. And as long as the coaching staff is working on who to play in any given game, there is no time to work on improving the overall strategy of the team.
If it feels like this time is going round and round, you are correct. But is this a carousel, a circular ride that will carry this team back to the NBA Playoffs? Because another thought has come to mind as well. Whenever I pull the plug in the tub full of bathwater, the water goes round and round as well. Hopefully, this is not the Minnesota Timberwolves season going down the drain.