The Minnesota Timberwolves have had an eventful decade of highs and lows, with the lows far outnumbering the highs in recent years. However, with a new management team in place, the Timberwolves have a renewed sense of optimism as they look to rebuild and make a return to the playoffs. We look at the Timberwolves’ journey, where they have been and where they could be in the near future.
The Wolves’ Heartbreaking Fall from the Glory Days
The Minnesota Timberwolves are a franchise that was once the toast of the NBA. They came close to winning it all in the early 2000s, with Kevin Garnett leading the way to the Western Conference Finals twice. However, heartbreaking losses in both series meant the Timberwolves’ dreams of a championship did not come to fruition.
Fast forward to today, and the Timberwolves have been mired in mediocrity for the majority of the decade, missing the playoffs in nine of the last 10 seasons. There were some highlights along the way, such as winning the draft lottery in 2015 and the addition of Karl-Anthony Towns in 2016, but those moments were overshadowed by a string of poor decisions, bad luck, and mismanagement that plagued the franchise.
The Timberwolves’ Road to Redemption
The 2017-2018 season marked a turning point for the Timberwolves. After a decade of disappointment, the Timberwolves began to make positive steps towards returning to relevance. The additions of Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, and Taj Gibson helped the team reach their first winning season since 2004-2005 and earn a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2003-2004.
However, 2018-2019 was an even bigger milestone for the Timberwolves, as they made it all the way to the Western Conference semifinals. Led by Towns and Butler, the Timberwolves put up a valiant fight against the second-seeded Houston Rockets and gave them all they could handle, ultimately falling just short in the series.
The Timberwolves’ Rebuild for the Future
The Timberwolves have made it clear that they are focused on the future, as they have drafted two rookies in the past two years that are expected to contribute right away. The addition of Anthony Edwards, the first overall pick in the 2020 draft, is a major step forward for the Timberwolves, as they believe he can become a cornerstone of the franchise. The Timberwolves also recently made some headline moves by signing free agents Jarrett Culver and Malik Beasley. These moves show that the Timberwolves mean business, as they are looking to compete and make a return to the playoffs once again.
The Timberwolves’ Chances of Making a Return to the Playoffs
The Timberwolves have assembled a roster that looks like it could be primed for a postseason run. They have a talented trio of Towns, Butler, and Edwards to lead the way, along with complementary pieces in Rose, Gibson, and Beasley to provide additional scoring and defense.
The Timberwolves will be in a tough Western Conference, as there are several other teams gunning for a playoff spot. However, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Wolves could make a return to the playoffs in 2021 and make a statement in the process.
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