The Minnesota Timberwolves have a way of showing up against successful teams, don’t they? After the NBA Trade Deadline, the hope was for the Timberwolves to become more consistent in their play, and that was what the team sought in giving up PG D’Angelo Russell and accepting PG Mike Conley Jr, SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and three future second-round NBA Draft picks.
But the plans of mice and men oft go astray, and the Minnesota Timberwolves plummeted from a promising perch at 30-28 to a concerning 31-32 immediately after. The worst part of the 1-4 record that immediately followed the trade deadline lies in the fact that the Timberwolves lost games along the way that they never should have lost. The Timberwolves, a team with so much to play for, lost to teams with no postseason aspirations.
The Timberwolves turned the tables
And that was just the beginning. The Minnesota Timberwolves had just begun a four-game trek through California and had three NBA Playoff-hopeful teams remaining before returning north to Target Center. The LA Clippers, reinforced with PG Russell Westbrook, the LA Lakers, reinforced with D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Malik Beasley, and the Sacramento Kings, a successful team that opted to stand pat at the NBA Trade Deadline.
For a while, an awkward period of time when the Timberwolves found it necessary to regroup, this team had tripped and landed not themselves, but rather the Utah Jazz in the discussions for an NBA Draft Lottery chance for a Top-4 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. That was too much for some fans, and the glowing level of support for the team, and the transactions that had taken place so far this season, began to take a toll. That frustration and despair from fans began to bleed over into social media, and it made sense in a way. The hope for so many fans who are desperate to return to the NBA Playoffs once more seemed to be vanishing rapidly.
The Timberwolves needed to find the strength within themselves to win some games. And curiously enough, the fact that the team was playing NBA Playoff-quality opponents actually proved to be a very positive development.
Do the Timberwolves have enough left for another turn?
Of course, like the ocean tide at the shore, the Minnesota Timberwolves hopes for postseason competition rise and fall this season like clockwork. Having won three straight games against tough competition in California, the Minnesota Timberwolves returned home and hoped that the friendly confines of Target Center would keep the positive momentum going.
It didn’t, as the Timberwolves lost pretty badly to a short-handed Philadelphia 76ers team. But even with rest, the team could not defeat the Brooklyn Nets in overtime. Once more, the Minnesota Timberwolves are in a slump, this time a two-game losing streak that finds them scrambling for a win against the Atlanta Hawks. Even if the Timberwolves find a way to get the win, the team will return to Target Center to host the hot Boston Celtics.
Do the Minnesota Timberwolves have enough gas left in the tank for the final 14 games of the 2022-23 NBA season? Let’s hope so. The Timberwolves face a very tough test to close out the season. Will it be enough to get this team to the playoffs? On some days, I would say yes. On other days, I have my doubts. Stay tuned, because it’s going to be an exciting finish, either way.