The Minnesota Timberwolves are currently 9-9, as they’re currently 10th in the Western Conference. However, they’ve been playing much better than their record indicates.
Winners of their last five games, things were appearing to head south for this group real quick after losing eight games in nine tries.
Inside The Timberwolves Winning Streak
Outside of their win against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, the Timberwolves’ opponents haven’t been exactly the most spectacular teams.
However, when you were 4-9, there aren’t a heck of a lot of teams that were worse than you, so your only focus should be to beat the opponent in front of you rather than getting too cute and potentially losing the game as a result.
To the Timberwolves’ credit, they’ve done exactly that, but they’ve beaten those teams in convincing fashion.
They destroyed the Memphis Grizzlies, another perennial playoff contender, 138-95 during this stretch, as that is the largest margin of victory in the NBA so far.
The Wolves’ trio of Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell are all finding their niche as a collective group as well.
Towns continues to be a force offensively, as he’s scoring the ball inside at a high rate and hitting the three with consistency.
Edwards appears to be taking that next step towards stardom, averaging 22.6 points per game on nearly 50 percent shooting from the floor.
Russell continues to find his niche as the primary playmaker for this group as well, and has been averaging close to 20 points per contest.
Outside of the Wolves’ trio, Jarred Vanderbilt is rounding into form as a rebounding machine and high-energy guy, profiling well next to Towns as Towns looks to play his role as the primary scorer.
Malik Beasley is also providing a boost as a scorer off the bench and pesky on-ball defender.
Why Their Record is Misleading
If you look at Minnesota’s schedule for their first 13 games, you’ll see a lot of good teams on it.
They took losses to two championship-contending teams in the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns, lost one to one of the better teams in the league in the Denver Nuggets, and took three to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Their other three losses came to the Grizzlies and bottom dwellers in the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans, but those types of losses will happen throughout the course of the season, especially early on.
It’s worth noting that they did defeat the defending champion, Milwaukee Bucks, on the road in their fourth game of the season, however, but the euphoria of that win quickly faded following six straight losses.
Still, plenty of those losses came against well-established teams whereas the Timberwolves were still searching for their identity.
Now with roles more clearly identified and a respectable record, things should be looking up in Minnesota for the first time in a long time, and with the separation they currently have with the other teams at the bottom of the conference, they should be a shoe-in for at least a play-in spot come April.
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