Does the current Minnesota Timberwolves scenario remind you of the four-part Avengers movie series? If you follow the Marvel Comics Universe saga with the latest two dozen or so interrelated movies, then you are not alone. And if you have been drawn in and swept up in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ dramatic 2022-23 NBA season, you are not alone either.
Of course, that Avengers series ended years ago with the two-part saga against the supervillain Thanos, which began with the Infinity Wars movie, and ended with the End Game epic movie. I have a subscription to the Disney channel, and occasionally when I’ve spent a long day writing and reading about the Minnesota Timberwolves, thoughtless re-viewing by streaming a television series or a movie that I have seen before is an ideal way to wind up and wind down my day.
In a recent re-viewing of the End Game movie, I could not help but associate that movie with the current predicament of the Minnesota Timberwolves season. After all, the Timberwolves lost about half of their roster to injuries, or the fateful ‘snap,’ of the Infinity Gauntlet. Now that the team has restored its roster to full health (or nearly full health), the team is preparing for that final battle. Perhaps more appropriately, the series of NBA games facing the team will ultimately determine their chances of competing in the NBA Playoffs.
Timberwolves showing heroic resolve
10 days ago, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ record was 35-37, the team has just lost its third game, this one to the Toronto Raptors, and the Timberwolves were reeling. Not only were the Timberwolves competing without PF Karl-Anthony Towns, but the team had lost SG Anthony Edwards. And just like Marvel’s End Game, the team was down players but had to find some way of turning things around, of getting back into the NBA Playoffs chase.
Over the next four games, the Timberwolves would be led to victory by these unlikely players:
PF Taurean Prince (35 points), C Naz Reid (26 points), C Naz Reid again (23 points), and finally SF Jaden McDaniels (20 points).
The Timberwolves have grown up into an NBA team before our very eyes. This is a true team now, a team that has been overcoming adversity and learning new ways to win.
Of course, the Minnesota Timberwolves have a long way to go. With a record of 39-37, the Timberwolves have six more games remaining in their season. That means that this team can do no better than 45-37, and no worse than 39-43. But 10 days ago, the team could do no better than 45-37, but far worse at 35-47. So the Timberwolves are trending in a positive direction for now.
How will this turn out? Who can say? As soon as you get a bead on the Timberwolves’ roster and believe you can predict their next game, they come out and play far differently than expected. One thing is clear. The Timberwolves roster is clearly aligned right now and focused on returning to the NBA Playoffs.
So, pardon me for borrowing a line from Marvel’s End Game movie, but it needs to be said: