The Minnesota Timberwolves seem to enter halftimes with comfortable leads, only to watch in horror as those leads vanish in the second half. If it was a handful of games, it would be something to monitor. But this is becoming more and more the rule for a Timberwolves team that entered the 2022-23 NBA season with high hopes. Right now, those lofty expectations are best described as desperate.
Unfortunately, not even the most optimistic fans can deny that the Minnesota Timberwolves are rapidly losing ground to an unforgiving NBA league. Worst of all, the Timberwolves’ futility will only pad the coffers of the Utah Jazz over the course of the next seven years.
That all boils down to an almost zero-tolerance policy for this team to lose those games that are perceived as winnable. Of the Timberwolves’ 21 losses in the 2022-23 season, nine games were lost by a Minnesota Timberwolves team that held a halftime lead. Had the team won those games, this team would be 25-12 and be one of the best teams in the league.
Too optimistic? Well, how about if the Timberwolves had won just five of their nine halftime lead games? That would put the Timberwolves at a record of 21-16, and firmly entrenched in the pursuit of their second NBA Playoffs berth in two years. This is the absolute worst-case scenario for this team’s home court. Lackluster performances generate home boos in a season when this team is trying to become a team that wins, that NBA Free Agents want to come to.
Unmet expectations equal somebody is on the hot seat
That’s just not happening right now.
Some have already lit the torches and are demanding that the Minnesota Timberwolves make a coaching change mid-season. Perhaps it’s time to give kudos to Dunking with Wolves contributor Travis Rose, who pulled no punches declaring how this team, by its lofty expectations and going-for-broke roster assembly, began this season by placing Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch on the hot seat.
Travis shrewdly predicted this season as having raised the bar to lofty levels and shortened the fuse of both the fans and the organization in terms of how long everyone would be patient to see the results. Now, with boos becoming commonplace at Target Center, the front office is getting painted into a corner. And they have two escape routes:
Either the team divests at the NBA Trade Deadline, and tries to get as many future assets that will allow this team to start again with the same coaching staff, or?
The team moves on from Coach Chris Finch, hires another coach, sticks with the same players, and resets the timetable for the 2023-24 NBA season. Purely from the practical aspects, it’s easier to fire and hire a new head coach than to persuade NBA teams to give this team their best offers for players during a perceived fire sale.