It’s been tough out there for the Minnesota Timberwolves lately. Seven losses in a row aren’t something to be excited about, and for the fans, the team’s attitude is even more depressing. Last night they managed to break their losing streak with a win against the Spurs. Nobody expected this team to be a contender this season. However, the Timberwolves should show more competitiveness.
Still, there are a few reasons why they couldn’t put up a win. The main one lies in the fact that Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie were injured early in the season. Without them, the Wolves haven’t got much depth in their game.
Their frontcourt may be weakened, but their backcourt is stacked; top-five players in minutes played this season are currently all guards. Center Naz Reid is sixth in minutes played, and he’s 30 minutes behind Jarrett Culver for fifth. Without rim and paint protection, teams are easily hurting them – the Timbervolws are dead last in the league in Defensive Rating (118.0).
The Wolves are very young, and you usually can’t be a contender in the NBA if you’re young. Better teams are also usually older teams. Minnesota, Memphis, and Charlotte are the three youngest teams in the league, and all have one thing in common – losing records.
One other thing that caused a losing streak is the schedule. The Wolves started their campaign against Detroit, and after that, they’ve played against Utah, both LA teams, Washington, two against Denver and Portland. So the only non-playoff teams they’ve played were Detroit (won) and Washington (lost). But the schedule isn’t going to get much more comfortable in the next few games. Their next opponents are San Antonio, Memphis (2x), Atlanta, Orlando, New Orleans, and Golden State (2x).
The Wolves’ most effective player on the roster is D’Angelo Russell, who averages 20 points per game. The next (healthy one) on the list is Malik Beasley with 17.6, and after him comes Anthony Edwards with 15.4 points per game. So the talent is there. But they can’t just wait for KAT to get back and keep losing games and confidence in the meantime. They have to find chemistry and put some wins on the board, no matter how young and inexperienced they are. The talent is there to back it up.