The Minnesota Timberwolves, for whatever reason, cannot break through to the other side of .500 for any length of time. Is it fatigue after working so hard to get to that point? Is it the lack of cohesion in the Timberwolves roster? Have the coaches been so busy trouble-shooting the lineups and overall roster challenges created by a migrating set of injuries to key players that coaching the team in ways to improve has been pushed to a back burner?
After 53 games played, and 29 to go, the Timberwolves have played to a 27-26 record. That’s going to pose quite a problem for this team if they cannot solve it as quickly as possible.
It’s not the fact that the Timberwolves are playing against elite NBA teams. Truth be told, the Timberwolves seem to play far more competitively against the NBA’s best than against the teams that should pose no problems to the Timberwolves.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have a 2-1 advantage against the Memphis Grizzlies, a team with a record of 31-18. But the same Minnesota Timberwolves have lost both games played against the Detroit Pistons, a team with a 12-33 record.
The Timberwolves know how to win. And even with the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns and Jordan McLaughlin injured for months, the Timberwolves roster still has enough talent to win at a steadier and more sustainable pace.
As of the end of January 2023, less than two games separate the Timberwolves from the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder, two teams that were projected to struggle this season. And the inconsistent play of the Timberwolves team as a whole has made it very difficult for the new front-office executives to point to a problem that is fixable by upgrading the roster before the trade deadline.
It’s tough to trade a player who is the team’s hero as often as he is the villain. The greatest need for the Minnesota Timberwolves roster continues to be time and patience. Until then, this team appears to be stuck in a .500 basketball rut. As crazy as the 2022-23 NBA season has been, there is no way to tell if that will be good enough to earn the Timberwolves the right to compete in the NBA Playoffs.