III: Rudy Gobert has a season with the Timberwolves under his belt
Unlike the 2022-23 NBA season, Rudy Gobert has a year under his belt already. While that may not seem like much of a big deal to fans, for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Timberwolves roster, it’s quite a big deal.
You see, while this year everyone is somewhat familiar with the capabilities and limits of Gobert and his impact on the Timberwolves roster, a year ago everything about Rudy Gobert was conceptual. Certainly, there were some educated guesses about what Gobert could deliver to the Timberwolves roster, but that fell into three categories: WAG (Wild Arsed Guessing), SWAG (Scientific Wild Arsed Guessing), or reserved optimism.
Timberwolves coaches faced a lot of challenges
The Timberwolves coaching staff speculated about rotations and complementary players who would be more adept at not only playing in the same five-man rotation. As the season progressed, even those modest goals were chucked out the window as the coaches had to determine which of the players on the Timberwolves roster could simply suit up and play in any given game.
There is no strategy on the fly, and the Timberwolves players were all thrown into the 2022-23 NBA season with a rather ambitious expectation that everyone would figure it all out. The players may have done exactly that, given enough time. But All-Star power forward Karl-Anthony Towns fell to an injury that would bench him for 53 games. Backup point guard Jordan McLaughlin would soon follow. Backup power forward Taurean Prince would fall to injury as well. Then, amidst all of the other chaos, point guard D’Angelo Russell announced that he has uncomfortable with the point guard role.
The Timberwolves coaches were saturated with roster challenges, which negated any chance to adapt to or improve the play on the basketball court.