Reason I: Can Timberwolves trample inferior teams this year?
If only the Minnesota Timberwolves had found a way to beat struggling NBA teams in the 2022-23 NBA season, we might be discussing a team that was just one lucky break away from their own NBA Championship. So what do these Timberwolves need to do to beat those weaker teams in the 2023-24 NBA season?
That’s a tough call, but I believe that the answer lies in not letting up. The 82-game season was quite the gauntlet for the Timberwolves roster, which had as many as four players injured at any point in time. That forced the Timberwolves to squeeze extra playing time out of the remaining players.
When the schedule held a weaker opponent, the Timberwolves starters who were exhausted from significant playing time at such a high level of competition, relaxed a bit too much. In many situations, the Timberwolves had to compensate for the absence of PF Karl-Anthony Towns, C Rudy Gobert, backup PG Jordan McLaughlin, and PF Taurean Prince.
Too many minutes among too few players
That not only cut hard into the number of minutes that needed to be absorbed by other players but had a ripple effect of limiting the team’s option of redirecting roles on the team.
The Timberwolves appear to have gotten smarter. Forward Leonard Miller has savage ball-handling skills, and he could be promoted into a significant role if necessary. We know that Shake Milton will likely be running the floor if and when Mike Conley Jr. is on the bench. But the Timberwolves discovered that Naz Reid can score and has upped his defensive presence. And the team has added small forward Troy Brown Jr., a young 6-foot-6 wing who can work the boards, run a velcro-like defense, and sink perimeter shots too.
The other 29 NBA teams all have reasons to believe that they improved too. So the Minnesota Timberwolves do not hold a monopoly on optimism right now. But the Timberwolves are not relying upon new faces as much as augmenting a solid eight players with additional talent. That is going to be huge for the Timberwolves chances of success this season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves believe that they can win this year, but can they? After reviewing the team, I believe that they can as well. What are your thoughts?