Preview of the NBA 2021-22 season over Minnesota Timberwolves. Data, results from the previous season, a look at their squad and future free agents, the objectives of the course, the player to watch and a forecast on the franchise.
- Market movements: Incorporations of Patrick Beverley and Taurean Prince (here all movements).
- Backcourt: D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Josh Okogie, Jordan McLaughlin, Jaylen Nowell y Leandro Bolmaro.
- Frontcourt: Karl-Anthony Towns, Jarred Vanderbilt, Jake Layman, Jaden McDaniels, Taurean Prince y Naz Reid.
This is how they face the season
In Minnesota they do not find the key to establish a good, colorful and durable basketball. Again, the Timberwolves were shipwrecked in a season in which various reasons can be cited and excuses that explain the failure. But perhaps no one summed up the situation better than Ricky Rubio when he claimed that the team lacks identity.
Injuries, health and safety protocols and the team’s constant defensive disasters set the tone for a season in which you have to scratch perhaps too much to find the green shoots: the hiring of Chris Finch as head coach, the progressive change of hands of the proprietary cupola and the irruption of Anthony Edwards.
Focusing exclusively on the sports section, Finch’s arrival revitalized the image of the Timberwolves, who showed a better level of play in the final stretch of the course. More specifically, the team posted a 13-11 record in the 24 games Towns, Russell and Edwards played together. The rookieFor his part, he signed a second leg of the season in which he already exhibited all the future potential that is assumed: 23.8 points in 36 brilliant games, although insufficient to steal the Rookie of the Year award from LaMelo Ball. The wolves were able, thus, to add some more triumph than expected at the last minute, although registering the third worst defense in the entire NBA boycotted any other type of aspiration.
Indeed, the health, performance of this trident and Finch’s renewed gaits comprise the main pillars for this new campaign. Little else can be highlighted of an excessively discreet offseason, with hardly any additions and a draft in which they did not have any rounds. The reinforcements have been discreet and limited.
The main movements respond to the incorporation of Patrick Beverley and Taurean Prince, and the need to lock the ring itself. The defense they add aims to be more of a necessary complement than a primary response. The Timberwolves’ roadmap to success is by having the squad compensate for defensive deficiencies while betting on attack. That means the coaching staff expect McDaniels, Okogie, Beverley and McDaniels to expand the team’s individual and collective defense. However, when the Wolves went 13-11 it was because Towns, Russell and Edwards secured 120 points for every 100 possessions. To put it in perspective, Brooklyn scored 119.6 points in eight games featuring Durant, Harden and Irving. To score more than the rival and defend a a little better than the last course reduces almost everything.
From here we enter the world of uncertainty, assumptions and also doubts. Towns has had a very rough two years due to physical problems and painful family losses from the coronavirus. Now, he must show that he still maintains that leadership condition that guides others. On the other hand, there are hardly any alternatives in the creation beyond Russell, which will put much more ball in the hands of Edwards, even without being a standard point guard. Bolmaro could help in this area too, but it’s hard to imagine him playing a major role early in his transition to the NBA. In turn, McDaniels will be asked to confirm his promising debut year, both to score when the manager demands it and to make the opponent sweat on defense.
However, we have already seen this film in recent years and in all of them it ends with the same fateful ending: an illusion that quickly turns into tragedy. The best image shown with Finch invites you to think that this year yes It is possible although we will not put our hand in the fire for these Timberwolves until we witness a relatively durable, stable and solid image and results.
The player to watch
The evolution of the season and the number of victories achieved will be based mainly on the stellar couple formed by Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. However, that differential factor on which a large percentage of the hopes of the franchise resides will fall on how much Anthony Edwards is capable of developing his game.
In Minnesota they rub their hands with him after his great debut season and the enormous work he has done privately over the summer to expand the dimension of the game. With the capabilities of his offensive arsenal beyond question, Edwards’ training has pointed to more specific aspects such as outside shooting, playmaking and defense.
A very important point to highlight, although it seems anecdotal, is the player’s two-inch growth since he was selected in the first position of the 2020 draft. An unexpected gift that will allow the Timberwolves to put into practice other approaches with Edwards playing, including , power forward, having already covered all the outside positions.
In this way, Timberwolves aspire to enjoy their own Big Three and in it, Anthony Edwards will have a lot to say.
NBA preview 2021-22 Minnesota Timberwolves, prediction
Elio Martínez, director of Trends Wide, leaves a personal and subjective forecast on what he thinks each franchise will do during the season in the NBA 2021-22 preview.
Are the Wolves better than the Thunder and Rockets? Yes, without a doubt. Better than Spurs, Kings and Pelicans? That is where the doubts come. Depending on how the season goes in terms of injuries in New Orleans and Minnesota and group performance in Sacramento and San Antonio we will see who is the tenth in the West, because I think that is the ceiling of the four mentioned teams. The last play-in spot. I know I’m going to regret being optimistic about them, but I’m going to put them in 11th place in the West in my forecast.
Previous team analyzed: Orlando Magic. Next team: Cleveland Cavaliers.
(Cover photo by Hannah Foslien / Getty Images)