If Timberwolves tumble, it’s their swan song to playoff hopes

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Minnesota Timberwolves hold a record of 36-37 and have just nine games remaining on their 2022-23 NBA season schedule. There are many excuses to rationalize why this team has not enjoyed the same level of success as their 2021-22 NBA season. But you don’t need to dive into any depth to realize that the Timberwolves’ season has been plagued with injuries, inconsistencies, and disinterest.

This is a team that rolled the dice on a high-risk trade of five players and four NBA Draft picks to acquire All-Star center Rudy Gobert. But, as luck would have it, an untimely injury to All-Star power forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns after just 21 games derailed the team’s hope for a straight shot at the NBA Playoffs.

Did the Timberwolves fix their backcourt in time?

Since that time, the team had to depend heavily upon the offense of their backcourt duo of SG Anthony Edwards and PG D’Angelo Russell. But Russell did not mesh with the new Timberwolves center Gobert and was not shy about letting him hear about it in the locker room and on the basketball court. So the Timberwolves moved on from Russell at the NBA Trade Deadline, parting ways with Russell and acquiring PG Mike Conley, versatile SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and three future draft picks.

Unfortunately, the Timberwolves’ roster reset at the NBA Trade Deadline did not come without short-term consequences. Since the trade deadline, the Minnesota Timberwolves have played to a 6-9 record. With just nine games remaining on the Timberwolves’ schedule to close out the 2022-23 NBA season, that is not exactly the track record that this team was hoping to build on for an NBA playoff run.