How well did the Minnesota Timberwolves grow up this offseason?

Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports /

While the Minnesota Timberwolves seemed to focus on becoming younger this season, other changes to the Timberwolves roster were and are underway as well. The Timberwolves roster throughout the 2022-23 NBA season was riddled with injuries. But perhaps a factor that was every bit as damaging to the team was the lack of wisdom and consistency on a game-to-game basis.

But what was it that kept the team from truly capitalizing on winning streaks? What was it about this team that allowed double-digit leads against struggling teams to disappear in the second half?

In simplest terms, the Minnesota Timberwolves, both young and veteran players, exhibited a fundamental lack of maturity in the 2022-23 NBA season.

Lack of maturity equals a lack of discipline and focus

There was a never-ending sense of pressure on the Timberwolves roster last season. From the moment that PF Karl-Anthony Towns fell to a lengthy injury, the workload on remaining starters increased substantially. That led to exhaustion and further injuries. Finally, between back spasms, the pressure to win, and the constant nagging of teammate Kyle Anderson, veteran center Rudy Gobert had had enough, and tempers flared:

As a result of that lapse of judgment, the Timberwolves lost Rudy Gobert for the duration of the Pelicans game, plus Game 1 of the NBA Play-In Tournament against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Injuries, again?

The bigger story, and loss, to the Minnesota Timberwolves, was the injury to small forward Jaden McDaniels, who punched a wall out of frustration. That was a foolish self-inflicted injury by the Timberwolves starting small forward:

As a result, the Minnesota Timberwolves entered the 2023 NBA Playoffs as they had faced the entire 2022-23 NBA season, scrambling to plug holes in the starting lineup and rotations impacted by more injuries.

Will there be more of the same this season? For the life of me, I cannot imagine how. Not only were Rudy Gobert, Kyle Anderson, Naz Reid, and Jaden McDaniels directly involved in foolish immature decisions or injuries that may have cost the Timberwolves a chance to pull off the upset against the NBA Champion Denver Nuggets, but the team let down the incredible play of star shooting guard Anthony Edwards.

How well did the Timberwolves front office fix bench play?. light. Trending

This is Edwards’ team this year. As a result, players will be held to a far higher standard of play as a result. After all, even Edwards had some growing up to do last season.  But he proved that he had grown up considerably last season. This season, he will ensure that is true of his teammates as well.