The Timberwolves Season gets underway in Memphis!

Posted By: SuperStatsDave

In the 2003/2004 NBA season, the Minnesota Timberwolves made it to the playoffs for the 8th straight season along with advancing to the Western Conference Finals.

In the summer of 2004, they hired me.

There hasn't been another trip to the playoffs for the Wolves since that hire of an unemployed kid right out of college. In the twelve seasons after the Wolves hired me, I count three seasons in which the squad had a legit chance at the playoffs. That's not good.

That's what makes this season so exciting. WE HAVE A CHANCE!

The wheels started in motion near the end of last season when Sam Mitchell was dismissed after the final game. Then the Wolves started courting some big names and ended up catching the biggest fish in the coaching sea when they signed Tom Thibodeau (Thibs). The Wolves were proclaimed big winners as a result of this signing. With the defensive genius on board to help the young Wolves, anything might be possible.

On draft night the Wolves drafted PG Kris Dunn, who some experts predicted as the rookie who might be the most NBA ready and also best player of his draft class. The Wolves were applauded as a result of this drafting of the kid that made the most sense and who happened to be the best player available.

So basically since late April when Thibs arrived, we have seen and heard local and national media praise and throw fuel on the hype fire for our beloved Wolves like we haven't seen around these parts before. I've joked that the Wolves haven't even needed a PR department because everyone else is promoting this club for them. It's not a bad problem to have, especially for a team with such a long absence from the playoffs.

So here we are. The Wolves open at Memphis tonight and many are predicting that a playoff berth this season is within reach along with possibly 40 wins or more. I completely agree and here's what I can see helping that cause:

  • Karl-Anthony Towns shows that his rookie year wasn't a fluke by becoming an All-Star by averaging 20-11-3 and shooting over 38% on three's

  • Andrew Wiggins starts filling up the stat sheet with rebounds, steals and assists, along with continuing his posterizing of unsuspecting bigs when he dunks on their sorry faces

  • Ricky Rubio plays 75 or more games. This team is much different with the Spaniard on the court and I think Thibs will love everything that Ricky adds. I think he averages over 10 assists per game this season.

  • If Zach Lavine can replicate offensively what he did post All-Star game last season, he could find himself on top of the “Best SG in Wolves History” list. Zach is crazy athletic and shot 44% on his 3's in the final 28 games last year.

  • It appears that Thibs trusts Belly and that's a good thing. Remember early last season when due to KG's minutes, it was often Belly on the court producing during crunch time. It's there, he can do it, let's see him do it.

  • Kris Dunn doesn't have to step in and win ROY and hopefully he doesn't. If he does that means Rubio was either hurt or got traded. We just need Dunn to give the 2nd unit a spark and be able to not screw things up in the 15-20 minutes he'll get. His hustle plays will be fun to watch.

  • I want to see Shabazz Muhammad succeed so bad. Bazzy is a good dude who shed some bad labels from HS/College and has been one of my favorite players since he arrived in Minny. He busts his tail and if he can show the same effort on defense that he shows on the fast break or when crashing the glass, maybe he becomes the biggest benefactor of Thibs.

I've never worked a Wolves playoff game and I think this is the year that streak ends. I predict the Wolves win 44 games and sneak into the playoffs.

What are your predictions? Please leave your comments below!

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