The Wolves this year are like one of those doorstop Russian novels — only poorly written, with precious few plot twists and a predictably disheartening resolution.
It didn’t seem like it in the preseason, but a wretched start to the season perhaps reordered Tom Thibodeau’s priorities.
The team’s sturdier, more diligent defense has emanated almost exclusively from the starters.
The win interrupts a downward spiral that has called into question the team’s psychological equilibrium, the character of the roster, and the players’ relationship with Tom Thibodeau.
Twenty-two games into the season, there is more than enough blame to go around for the flagrant failure of the Wolves D.
A month into the season, the Wolves are adrift, with a slate of tough opponents on tap. It is time for the hype to start gelling into reality.
When it comes to the bottom line of winning or losing basketball games, this Wolves team is quickly establishing a reputation for being epic chokers.
The people who gush about Towns’ future are right when they say he can be as good as he wants to be. But it will apparently be a while before he figures out how to make that happen.
The team has just begun the process of blazing its identity. But they have talent and they have time — the essential raw ingredients of stable growth.
There is legitimate reason for some initial concerns about the Wolves’ successive pratfalls to start the season.
What follows are the reasons it is overwhelmingly likely that 2016-17 is ground zero of a Timberwolves resurgence.
Golden State is the overwhelming favorite, and the Clippers and Spurs the most formidable contenders.
Those on the playoff bubble in the East include dramatically overhauled squads in major markets like New York and Chicago.
This season’s Wolves will play better, smarter, more consistently entertaining basketball than the locals have witnessed in well over a decade.
KG’s gaudy intensity obscured the formidable intellect that engineered his outlandish physical and emotional enterprise — and that made him the greatest defender I’ve ever seen.
The NBA created the circumstances for the biggest free-agent banquet in the history of basketball, and the Wolves were content to consume a few morsels that were swept off the table. That’s good news.
Minnesota selected Dunn. But did they really want him or was it to facilitate a trade with Chicago? Or Philadelphia? Or anyone else coveting Kris Dunn?
The big things are in place. Which means it’s easier to identify where weaknesses exist on the Timberwolves’ current roster — and how they might be addressed.
Even safe, established candidates are not foolproof. And for all their accomplishment, Thibodeau, Van Gundy and Brooks all sport red flags on their resumes.