An Optimistic Struggle for Timberwolves

The talent is there. There is no question about it. The Minnesota Timberwolves have a new coach, new players, and new outlook for the upcoming 2014-2015 NBA season. There will be growing pains for the T-Pups this season. But unlike other seasons where fans lost interest midway through December, the team can expect fans to keep coming through the turnstiles, hopefully, all season long. This team is young, exciting, and inexperienced. But that isn’t a bad thing.

Team chemistry is an important thing professional sports. Even though all players are making ridiculous amount of cash compared to the average-salaried person, these guys still want to play. The hardest thing second-time-around head coach Flip Saunders is going to have to do is find playing time for 13 players, all of whom deserve a chance. Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio, Chase Budinger, Thaddeus Young, Mo Williams, J.J. Barea, Kevin Martin, and Corey Brewer are the older guys on the roster. Andrew Wiggins, Zach Lavine, Anthony Bennett, Gorgui Dieng, and Shabazz Muhammad are the young players competing for playing time.

Wiggins, Dieng, and Bennett will see their fair-share of playing time. Lavine and Muhammad have talent and are deserving of a chance, but that’ll be up to Saunders and his staff of coaches to decide.

For the first time is six seasons, the Timberwolves don’t have one stand-out player on the roster. Do I have to mention why that is? Kevin Love was traded in August, relieving every Timberwolf fan and player of his annoying presence within the organization.

There is a 99% chance this team doesn’t make the playoffs. There was also a 99% chance that in the movie The Little Giants, the Giants wouldn’t beat the Cowboys. But even 99 times out of 100 still leaves one time. That’s why I’m leaving a 1% chance.

This team is going to be exciting, but I think people need to get over the dunking factor. While dunks are nice and can lead to momentum shifts, people are making it seem like dunking is all some of these players can do. And that’s far from the truth. While they might not be skilled basketball players this season, they will get better. If Blake Griffin can shoot 38.5% from outside the paint, I’m pretty sure any player can become a better shooter.

I’m excited for this upcoming season. It’s nice to see that the fans are as well. It’s nice to see that the majority of the roster can are of relative age to the average fan age. It’s nice to see the players WANT to interact with and be around fans.

While owner Glen Taylor might still be incompetent when it comes to basketball, I think he and Saunders did a good job getting what they got for Love. LeBron James will find out that Love is a better offensive player and rebounder than Chris Bosh but can’t guard much and misses games with unusual ailments. However, that might go by the wayside now that he is playing with a better complement of players in Cleveland.

If I lived in the Twin Cities area, I would definitely hit up a few games this season, despite what the team’s record might be. I like the confidence and mentality of the team. There is a different vibe. Youth and energy has a weird way of reviving older players. Depth also has a way of reviving players because players don’t need to play so many minutes. It might have to biggest impact on Pekovic, a guy who has been hurt a lot during his short career.

Regardless of this season’s results, this team is setup for potentially a lot of success in the long-term. I’m excited for the season, as it’s just 28 days away. I’m hoping for improvement and player growth. I think this team has a true leader in Rubio.

This team has no one to surprise but itself. If they play hard for 3,936 minutes of 82 games, this team will experience success.

What do YOU think?

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