At 17-21, the Minnesota Timberwolves have not exactly made the inner circle of the NBA just yet. In fact, this team has been fighting injuries almost the entire season and the results have been a lackluster showing so far. That has, in turn, made the Minnesota Timberwolves fanbase a bit nervous. Who can blame them? Timberwolves fans have been struggling over the rising fears of:
Another disappointing season after a one-and-done playoff appearance.
Another blockbuster NBA trade where the Timberwolves emerge with the short end of the stick.
Another season sold as the ‘new and improved,’ Timberwolves, only to discover that almost nothing has changed save the players on the roster and the NBA executives in charge.
I get the frustration. Whenever we face the unfamiliar, our minds instinctively and automatically transport us back to the familiar. Unfortunately, those more familiar experiences have been fraught with disappointment for the Minnesota Timberwolves faithful. But NBA veteran guard Austin Rivers has a message that he wants to share with every and any Minnesota Timberwolves fan whose faith in this team has been shaken:
“Stay with us, bro!”
It was a post-victory message.
These Timberwolves are not done yet
After the shorthanded and desperate Timberwolves rose to the challenge of facing the Denver Nuggets, a team that entered Target Center with the best record in the NBA but left with a commanding defeat, Austin Rivers was pumped up with the adrenalin of stiff competition. The game was not ever the Nuggets rolling over and playing dead. Rather, the Nuggets held a three-point lead on the Minnesota Timberwolves as late as the 3:02 mark in the third quarter.
And pairing that with the third-quarter struggles facing the Timberwolves this year, the Nuggets had every reason to expect the lead to hold up.
The thing is that things change. This is not the same trade that sent Timberwolves’ favorite player, Kevin Garnett, to the Boston Celtics for picks and players who never balanced the scales to make it into an even trade. This is not the Timberwolves team of the past, a team that fought to make it to the NBA Playoffs, but then sank from the weight of that effort.
As easy as it is to see the 2023 NBA landscape as though it’s the 2022 NBA landscape or any other past version of the league, it’s not. And so, let’s take Austin Rivers at his word for now. Hang in there. The Timberwolves have historically been a hot second-half NBA team.
“Stay with us, bro!”
And I, for one, will do exactly that.