The Minnesota Timberwolves parked a lot of thought into how to build a better roster over the past two off-seasons. So far, it’s been academic rhetoric, an oscillating wave of conjecture by Minnesota TImberwolves about what might be, because nobody can know. So what about the 2022-23 NBA season? Why wasn’t that 82 games regular season a large enough sample size?
Well, it would have been under normal circumstances. But the Minnesota Timberwolves season can be broken up into three chapters:
- Chapter I – 21 games of making introductions. KAT was healthy
- Chapter II – 53 games of scrambling to fill roster holes. KAT was injured
- Chapter III – 8 regular season games, 2 NBA Play-In Tournament games, 5 Round I 2023 NBA Playoff games. KAT healed and returned to the Timberwolves roster.
The Timberwolves roster never truly came together in 2022-23, thanks to the lengthy injury to power forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns. And as you can see, the segmented nature of last year was far too disruptive and chaotic for any player to get into a groove. Players who normally score were drafted into playing defense. Players who normally defend the rim were drafted to help with perimeter defense.
It was a painful, but necessary, learning process last season.
New season, new objectives
But this is a brand new season, and the Timberwolves have managed to retain not only their starting five players, but three of their key rotational players as well. No more introductions this season. No more awkward moments that drag on for weeks at a time. And while we cannot ensure a hiatus on injuries, we can certainly set our expectations for a healthier roster this year.
But how much better will the Minnesota Timberwolves be in the 2023-24 NBA season? If we set our sights no higher than a 42-40 record, we are setting the Timberwolves up to perhaps miss out on the 2024 NBA Playoffs altogether. If we expect the Timberwolves to finish the season among the Top-5 NBA teams this year, then we must be looking for a 52+ win season out of this team.
So rather than set win totals as goals, let’s ratchet down our mid-summer projections to set up the Timberwolves season with achievable goals. Such as? Here are three players who end the season among the NBA’s Top-3 players in various categories: