Okay, so if you had any concerns about the Minnesota Timberwolves’ ability to compete in the 2023-24 NBA season, you may have some answers now. The Timberwolves are finding ways to win against NBA teams that are unanimously projected to compete in the 2024 NBA Playoffs.
That is not to say that the Minnesota Timberwolves are a shoo-in for a berth in the 2024 NBA Playoffs, or even if they earn a spot in postseason competition, that this team will waltz right through Round 1. We know all too well how a serious or poorly timed injury to a key player can derail this team.
But preseason is a time to run the race car through its paces, or in this case, the Timberwolves roster. The team has certainly impressed me so far, which is a small surprise because I’ve already bought into the belief that the Minnesota Timberwolves are a much better and more balanced team than the team from a year ago.
Sorting out Timberwolves players in preseason takes time
But the truth remains that there will only be a limited amount of minutes to distribute among the players on the Timberwolves roster. And that is even further limited as there is only one basketball to share among the five players on the basketball court.
What that all means is that the Minnesota Timberwolves will have players who perform instantly, who perform quickly, who perform reluctantly, and who fail to perform to expectations. And it’s no easy task for the Timberwolves coaching staff to guess at the rate that players may develop before the start of the 2023-24 NBA season.
Even as the Timberwolves have returned all five starters from the 2023 NBA Playoffs, and a key core of bench players, this team has an abundance of players who are either new to the Timberwolves roster or new to the NBA in general.
So let’s do a quick grading of Timberwolves players who stood out, either in a positive or negative light, in the Timberwolves’ third preseason game against the New York Knicks, and how they have performed in preseason games so far. Why Game 3? It’s the most relevant in terms of a competitive game that featured both the full Timberwolves roster, but also the most competitive game that the Timberwolves have played so far.
So let’s dig in: