II- Last season’s sentiment
. The NBA does a very good job of reshuffling rosters in the offseason. As a result, some teams improve while other teams slide into regression. Teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, and Oklahoma City Thunder are projected with a tweak to last season’s record, and then a minor move up or down based on whether the team is believed to have gotten better or worse this season.
Well, the experts at Draft Kings missed the boat over predicting the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2023-24 win totals, and here’s why:
I – Full season of Mike Conley Jr and Nickeil Alexander-Walker
The Minnesota Timberwolves did not acquire either PG Mike Conley Jr. or SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker until the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline, and yet both started for the Timberwolves in Round 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Both players were tossed onto the basketball court, with the hope that they would figure things out as they went along.
This season, that acclimation period has already taken place. And both Conley and NAW have proven to play worthy roles for the Timberwolves. This year, rather than show up in the last quarter of the season, both players will be competing for the Timberwolves right out of the gate. You could expect a better season out of the Timberwolves based on that fact alone. Let’s give it a plus one to the win column. (Projected 43 wins)