Leaders of the Pack
The Wolves are back baby!! Like a long-lost puppy that found its way home. The Timberwolves are once again your Western Conference leaders. It only took nearly 20 years, but here we sit 15 games into the season. The greatest part is that it doesn’t seem to be a fluke either. Built on defense of all things the Minnesota Timberwolves look to be here to stay and the basketball gods are smiling at the leaders of the Western Conference pack. Did we just have to give it some time to gel? Is Tim Connley a genius? Is Chris Finch a really good coach? Why don’t you read up and I’ll tell ya about it.
Teamwork makes the Dreamwork
One thing is clear this year as you watch this team. They like each other and their roles are clear. It’s like Coach Finch hit them with a reality check. Ant is our Batman, Kat is our Robin, and Rudy holds it down on defense. Last year, Ant was ready to be the star and took over after Kat was out due to injury, but it didn’t allow them time to clearly make that transition. I believe Kat still thought he could be the star and hadn’t accepted his role of an extremely good number 2. This year “When it come 4th quarter, Bring it to Ant” Shoutout KG aka “The Big Ticket”.
The Culture has shifted. Players aren’t worried about who gets the most points as long as there is a win at the end of the night. One of the biggest examples is Rudy isn’t worried about offense. Last year you could tell he wanted to be included instead of letting it come to him. This year when he’s in the right spots he gets the ball and for the most part makes the most of it. The addition of Mike Conley has been huge for him, putting him in the right position and getting open shots. The cohesiveness between the team has led to hard-earned wins against some of the title-contending teams the past year, all while ending their undefeated starts to the year.
Time to call off the dogs..and maybe say sorry?
There are two things that are going to happen in this next paragraph. One is me maybe pulling back on my hatred and criticism of Wolves GM Tim Connley. The second is me pointing at each one of you for trying to send Karl Anthony Towns out of town before he hit his peak for pennies on the dollar.
First, Tim Connley. I’m not fully ready to say I’m sorry for calling you the dumbest man on the planet for trading our future for Rudy Gobert. Because we will be feeling the ramifications of it for years to come, although it may not hurt as much if they are late-round picks. Right now, Rudy looks great and more importantly healthy. He’s a true defensive anchor and has been far more active than he was last year. Trading D’lo for Mike Conley and Nickel Alexander Walker and 3 second-round picks was maybe one of the top trades that isn’t talked about in the NBA. They whooped up on the defending champ Denver Nuggets and snuck out a victory in OT against the top-ranked Celtics. All is good in Wolves’ land, thanks to the new GM.
Secondly, I’m handing these out like flyers and putting them under windshield wipers like there’s a birthday bash coming up.
Let’s just be real. The man has been nothing short of fantastic this season. Give or take a couple of dumb fouls here and there. But he is ranked in the top 10 of defensive rating and when Ant fouled out against New Orleans the team climbed on his back and he led them to a victory with a game-winning go-ahead shot. Were the Best in the West and he’s been a massive part of it.
Take it in Wolves fans
The season isn’t over and there’s a long way to go as we sit with the best start since 2004. It’s a time for fans to show up to Target Center and cheer on what was looked at as the laughingstock of the NBA for years and years. Despite the ups and downs this team will go through, look at how far we have come. Nevertheless, have a Happy Thanksgiving.
7th-year Senior at UND. (not a doctor). 2021 6v6 sand volleyball champion. Read my thoughts on the Wolves, Gophers, and USMNT.
Call me out on Twitter @RG__II