Playoff finish: Lost in Western Conference Finals vs Lakers
The 2003-04 squad is undoubtedly the best team in Minnesota Timberwolves history. That season marked the end to the Wolves’ longstanding playoff struggles, as they finally broke through in the postseason and made it to the Western Conference Finals.
This was the year where all the pieces came together for the Timberwolves. In the 2003 offseason, they finally acquired a high-caliber point guard to put next to Kevin Garnett in Sam Cassell. Giving up Joe Smith and Anthony Peeler was a small price to pay for Cassell’s services.
The final piece to the puzzle was Latrell Sprewell, who also arrived in Minnesota in the summer of 2003. Together, Sprewell, Garnett and Cassell formed the league’s highest scoring trio. They earned the top spot in the Western Conference and guaranteed themselves home court advantage until at least the Finals.
The Timberwolves took care of the Nuggets and Kings in the first two rounds, with Kevin Garnett putting up one of the great clutch performances of all time in Game 7 of the second round (32 points, 21 rebounds, four steals, five blocks) to send Minnesota to the conference finals.
It was there that the Wolves ran into the Shaq and Kobe Lakers who were coming off three championships in the last four seasons. Garnett and company did all they could, but were ultimately sent home in six games. The disappointing ending does not detract from all that this team accomplished.