The regular season is here and the excitement is growing from Wolves fans. Could the Wolves take a big leap and be your Western Conference Champs?
The Wolves finished this preseason 4-0 against NBA teams, they played an overseas team too. They looked pretty good for most of it and the vital bench pieces looked great too. This team has so much potential, it will be very interesting to see if they can fully utilize it. A heavy load will be on our young stars’ shoulders. Will a young kid like Ant be able to put this team on his back and help fulfill their potential? I sure as hell think he’s capable of it and most Wolves fans probably agree.
This is in the preseason for god’s sake and this is all I needed to see to know Ant is ready to go. This man might take another leap this year and surprise us once again. If we want to reach the levels this team is trying to go to I think we are relying on that happening.
The West is loaded but man, I am very confident we can compete with any of those top teams. Nuggets are outstanding, Suns are looking crazy and the Lakers should be good again, but I have faith. The regular season is different than the post season and this team is kind of built for racking up those wins. Let’s just hope if that does happen, that it translates to the playoffs.
Let’s talk about some of the things we should look forward too and that will be key to being great this year.
Kat x Rudy
As you all know, we made a massive trade for Rudy last year. After the first year it doesn’t look great and we heard it ALL YEAR LONG. We already get shit on so this just made it worse but we’re used to it. This still has a chance to work out, anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves. Kat and Rudy barely even got to play with each other with Kat being out all year. This needs a proper sample size to actually judge. If Kat can find exactly how to play to maximize this, it could be very special. We need Kat driving, shucking 3’s and just not getting abused on D. If they can gel, it will be very scary once you add in the rest of our squad to the mix. We just have to hope they do indeed make it work.
We all know Jaden is one of the best defenders in this league. Now whether national people recognize this to the level we do is yet to be seen. We know how special he is though.
What we are really looking for is him taking a little bit of a jump offensively. It won’t be easy with the depth and offensive stars we have but it is possible, it all comes down to him. A little playmaking increase would be nice but we just want more self-creation from Jaden. He showed lots of flashes last year and he should get a lot of opportunity to do so this year. Hopefully Jaden puts that no emotion away and just comes out trying to kill on offense, hell he can do it with no emotion for all I care! I think most Wolves fans have a lot of faith in Jaden to fully reach that potential.
Key bench pieces
The Wolves went out and got Shake Milton and Troy Brown Jr, formally of the Sixers and Lakers. These were the main additions and I know some people were whining about it. What did you want them to do? They didn’t have a ton of money and still got two guys who will be key rotation pieces.
Now, Shake will probably be a little more important because he is the main scoring guard off the bench. He’s sure as hell an upgrade over Nowell but he will need to do more than he did. Shake has to provide scoring when our key guys aren’t out there but he seems more than capable to do so based on the preseason.
Shake is already fitting right in with this bench unit and it’s awesome to see.
Guys like Naz and SlowMo don’t even need to be mentioned because we know what they are capable of. They are hands down two of the better bench pieces in the whole league and they added Shake to that. This bench unit is going to be vital to our success and they look up to the task.
Ant x Rudy
Last one I wanted to quickly mention is the Ant and Rudy connection. For most of the year it did not look good. It got a little better over the year but it never really connected on the level most of us hoped for. Rudy would get in the way a lot and he just had a hard time catching bounce passes. Ant not being able to throw lobs didn’t help either. We really need that to improve too if we want to reach the heights we think they can reach. They connected on one in the last preseason game which was a great sign.
The excitement and expectations for this team are a lot higher than normal. That could be looked at positively or negatively but being a Wolves fan for so long, it’s very exciting to look forward to a season so much.
So, what would be looked at as a successful season? That is the real question. If you are a diehard Wolves fan you would be happy as could be with a playoff series win. If you are just a casual fan you may think that’s a bad season. I get we have high expectations but let’s be real for a few minutes. This team hasn’t done anything meaningful since 2004. If they win a damn series that is a successful season, I don’t care how high their actual expectations are. Win a series, then you aim for the next year. If shit goes south, then you blow it up and build around Ant.
We aren’t worried about that though. We are focused on this year! I have a feeling it will be a good one too. Hammer that over on the wins Wolves fans, 44.5 is free money. Maybe when it’s all said and done, they will be your Western Conference Champs.
See you on Wednesday Wolves fans, Let’s go WOLVES!
10K sports writer that specializes in Timberwolves content. Lover of pizza, disc golf and having the Timberwolves forever make me sad.