When I started thinking about the Minnesota Timberwolves for this season preview, what initially came to mind was how the season would ultimately be disappointing in the sense that even though the team will likely improve, they certainly aren’t winning a championship, probably aren’t winning a playoff series, and have a good chance of not even making the postseason.
But then, I tried to think about the team in a more positive, optimistic view and realized that despite their place in basketball hierarchy, the Wolves are going to be really fun to watch. And ultimately, that is what basketball is supposed to be: fun. (Admittedly, it’s much easier to appreciate this as a neutral observer when you just get to enjoy the play and don’t have to stomach the losses.)
I will certainly watch this team whenever I have the chance and suggest everyone else does as well. A quick look at the roster is all you need to realize this is a team you can easily fall in love with.
First of all, there’s Ricky Rubio. At this point, I’m not sure I have to explain to anyone why Ricky is the best, but I’ll do it anyway, because, in case you forgot, Ricky is the best. Having a bad day? Just listen to Ricky’s philosophy: “Change your face. Be happy. Enjoy it!” Well an easy way to change your face is just watch Ricky play basketball. He’s pretty good at that, if you weren’t aware, and he plays with a flair that just makes you smile. Or, if that isn’t enough for you, then check out his Instagram page. On the court, off the court, Ricky is the best and that’s indisputable.
Then, there’s Kevin Love. Sure he’s not as cool as Ricky, but who is? For his part, Love is pretty fun to watch, as well as being the Wolves’ best player. Whether he’s fighting off two defenders for a rebound, throwing full-court outlet passes or hitting game-winning threes, Love can do it all. You might also catch him teaming up with
Kyrie Irving Uncle Drew to hustle some “young bloods.” Oh, and his Instagram game is pretty solid too. After injuries derailed last season, it will be great to watch Love back on the court and fully healthy.
Of course, there’s no forgetting Nikola Pekovic. The very, very large Montenegrin is impossible to overlook for a number of reasons. First of all, there’s the thing where he’s 6’ 11” and 290 pounds. With that frame comes massive arms, and what better to do with massive arms then to fill one with a massive tattoo of a knight standing on top of a pile of skulls. But while his stature may be the first thing you notice, his play shouldn’t be ignored. Without Love for the better part of last year, Pekovic quietly turned into a dominant low-post presence. It should be interesting to see what Pekovic can do alongside Love this year. Also, there’s this.
Throw in Corey Brewer’s hectic pace, Kevin Martin’s weird jumper, countless puns based on Alexy Shved’s name, and rookie Shabazz Muhammad’s quest to prove he belongs, and you have the makings of a fascinating team.
Playoff games at the Target Center may not be in the Wolves’ future, and in that way, the season would be disappointing. In terms of postseason success, however, I don’t believe the organization or fan-base garner unrealistic expectations. Ultimately, playoffs or not, this will be fun team that brings a lot of joyful moments to those that watch them. And in that way, this season can be a successful one in Minnesota.