I’ve learned over time to never take anything for granted. From the very beginning when the Timberwolves became an organization, the days of owners Marv and Harv playing their home games at the old Metrodome, it’s been one bumpy ride after another.
The 2018-2019 season has been like a carnival. This team was once sold down the river to New Orleans. However, the NBA saved us and stopped it and voided the sale. They’ve been fined millions of dollars by the NBA for fraud involving the Joe Smith contract.
The Timberwolves once had a player threaten bodily harm to a St. Paul beat writer. They have had a player killed in a tragic car accident. And, they have had four head coaches in five years. Owner Glen Taylor fired third-year coach Tom Thibodeau months ago and owes him $25 million.
After beating Oscar-winning Spike Lee’s beloved New York Knicks 103-92 Sunday without All-Star Karl Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Robert Covington, and with Derrick Rose playing just eight minutes, they have won two in a row and six in a row at home and are 32-35 with 15 games left. I’d say going 12-3 in the final games would get them into the playoffs. What do you think?
This week, the Timberwolves’ playoff hopes are on the line big time facing the mother of all road trips. Five of their next six games are on the road where the Timberwolves have been awful, just 9-25 away from Target Center, where they are 23-10.
Make no mistake about it: The Timberwolves are one of the most talented teams in the league. Towns is a gifted All-Star, and Andrew Wiggins, like Towns, is a max contract player. The Timberwolves have committed $140 million and $125 million to these two guys.
Taylor fired Thibodeau after All-Star Jimmy Butler disrupted the team and demanded a trade, refusing to sign a four-year $100 million deal. This team has been drifting along ever since for Interim Coach Ryan Saunders.
Expectations were for this team to challenge for a title in the West. How tough is the Western Conference? Golden State has won three titles in four years. LeBron James, now with Los Angeles, can’t even get the Lakers into the playoffs, and he’s been in the playoffs nine years in a row, including nine times in the Finals with Cleveland and Miami.
Making the playoffs for the Timberwolves is a tall order considering their inability to win on the road, the inconsistency of the talented Wiggins, and Robert Covington having disappeared with an injury. It’s been a bizarre season of frustration.
Several injuries to Jeff Teague, Tyus Jones and Rose are all like missed free throws, opportunities lost. However, if the Timberwolves miss the playoffs again, that’s 14 times in 15 years in the NBA Lottery, and that is a disgraceful NBA record. It’s certainly not the way you celebrate your 30th NBA season, but that’s part of the strange history of the now-three-logos NBA Timberwolves.