Minnesota Timberwolves Season Preview History
2012-13 MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES SEASON PREVIEW
While the 2011-12 Minnesota Timberwolves 26-40 finish didn't exactly look impressive on the stat sheet, the team saw some signs of significant growth and hope for the future during the campaign. The season brought the debut of point guard Ricky Rubio, who was a contender for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award before tearing his ACL in a collision with Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. The T-Wolves were as busy as ever during the offseason, making a flurry of trades to improve the team's depth and become a factor in the Western Conference playoff picture.
The Timberwolves remade practically the entire bottom half of their roster, trading away a first round pick in the draft to the Rockets for shooting guard Chase Budinger, who could improve the team's three point percentages. The team dropped the expiring deals of Michael Beasley, Anthony Tolliver and Anthony Randolph, but weren't able to make a huge splash on a top tier free agent. Instead, general manager David Kahn signed talented foreign players like guard Alexey Shved and forward Andre Kirilenko. The T-Wolves also brought in former Trail Blazer Brandon Roy and swung a deal for Memphis forward Dante Cunningham.
Looking at the Timberwolves' starting lineup, with Ricky Rubio expected to be out until December, the task of leading the offense falls on Luke Ridnour. Ridnour has proven to be a savvy veteran point guard over the years and could prove to be invaluable when Rubio returns. At forward, the offense revolves around All-Star Kevin Love and Derrick Williams, who will continue to see plenty of action in the paint. At center, Nikola Pekovic has proven to be a worthy enforcer under the net, and the team also signed Greg Stiemsma in the offseason to reinforce the depth at the position.
With teams all over the Western Conference making significant improvements, the Timberwolves have stuck to their plan and are clearly in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. With solid starters like Love, Derrick Williams, Ridnour and the eventual return of Ricky Rubio, the T-Wolves may have put together a rare form of team basketball that could overcome the star-packed rosters that have dominated play over recent years. With a bevy of proven veterans, role players and young talent, the T-Wolves have a compelling lineup of players from various backgrounds that could come together come playoff time and surprise a lot of people.
Minnesota Timberwolves 2012 NBA Season Preview:
One of the biggest revelations in the league last year was the breakout season Timberwolves center Kevin Love had, which was kicked off by a 31-31 night against the Knicks early in the season. Love would blow up, averaging 20 points and 15 rebounds a night. It was that moment against the Knicks, however, that led to Love owning this team of misfits. His supporting cast includes Michael Beasley, the small forward who has flashes of brilliance amidst stretches of not-so-much; Wesley Johnson and Luke Ridnour’s guard play working well outside but not inside; and Derrick Williams, who share in Love’s inability to block shots. If the team can bring its defensive game up slightly, it will be a large step in bringing Minnesota back into the playoff fray.
2010-2011 Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Preview:
It's been a long time since fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves have had something to cheer about. They have not made the playoffs since 2004, and finished last year a dismal 15-67. The Timberwolves have seemingly been in a perpetual state of rebuilding, and if their talented group of young players is going to put it all together, this is the year to do it.
Minnesota has one of the more athletic teams in the league, led by second-year guard Jonny Flynn and former All-American center Kevin Love. Along with Love and Flynn, Michael Beasley and Al Jefferson are both reliable scorers, and the team will likely have no trouble scoring on the fast break. However, they need to improve defensively. The Timberwolves ranked second-to-last in points allowed last year, surrender more than 107 points a game.
Minnesota also had a fairly successful draft by landing Syracuse standout and 2010 Big East Player of the Year Wesley Johnson. Having Johnson playing with Beasley pairs two of the best college players of the last five years, and could lead to an explosive offense.
2009-2010 Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Preview:
The Minnesota Timberwolves fans should be excited to get play under way on the 2009-2010 NBA season. The Twolves had an up & down offseason, signing new Head Coach Kurt Rambis and then losing top draft pick Ricky Rubio. The season should be better in Minnesota than any recent year, because Rambis has a talented roster that is ready to compete for a playoff spot out West. The Timberwolves will count on new acquisition Antonio Daniels, star Al Jefferson and 2nd year player Kevin Love to lead the squad to a winning record.
2008-2009 Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Preview:
The Minnesota Timberwolves are a team to get behind this season in the NBA. It could be argued there is no other team with more future potential that than the Minnesota Timberwolves. The departure of Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics marked the end of an era in Minneapolis, and for many it’s a welcome change. A brand new lineup, including a strong frontcourt for a team in rebuilding mode, will make for an exciting season for Minnesota Timberwolves fans as they watch for the new stars and leaders of the next era of basketball in Minnesota to step forward.