By: Travis Thayer (@TheTravisThayer)
2012-13 Record: 31-51
Projected 2013-14 Finish: 3rd in the Northwest Division
Projected Starting Lineup
Rebounding. The Minnesota Timberwolves are a rebounding machine when their superstar Kevin Love is in the lineup. He has been plagued by injury the past couple of seasons, and that has really halted the progression of this team. A healthy Kevin Love means good things for the T’Wolves, and much of their success will be on his shoulders. Love will have more help than ever this year with the addition of sharpshooter Kevin Martin and the re-signing of center Nikola Pekovic. Pekovic might be the most underrated big man in the entire league. He and Love combine to make a fearsome front-court, and to make things better – they have an absolute magician at point guard. Ricky Rubio is this generations Pistol Pete with the ball, and he still has room to improve his game. There are a lot of things to be excited about in Minnesota.
The T’Wolves were a middle of the road scoring team (20th in the NBA) last season, but it appears that should improve this year. The T’Wolves really struggled to shoot the ball (.44% FG, .30% 3PT), but the addition of Kevin Martin should help those percentages go up. Martin can’t do it alone though, and the T’Wolves don’t have the shooters needed to make a run in the west. The health of Kevin Love is another concern. Love is almost a 20-15 guy, and he has to be on the floor in order for the T’Wolves to have success.
The Northwest Division will be tough to win because of that Kevin Durant guy, but the T’Wolves have a good chance to challenge for third in their division. If their three-point shooting gets better and Love stays healthy, the T’Wolves will easily improve upon their 31-51 record a year ago. There are some big if’s in Minnesota, and it might not hurt for the T’Wolves to try to add another shooter via trade. All I hope for is that Kevin Love stays healthy because he is an absolute treat to watch play basketball. I’ll go on record and say the T’Wolves play .500 basketball, and they challenge for the eighth seed in the west.