Perspective can be a funny thing. If you were hoping for a 30 win season and a "Thunder before the leap" prelude to bigger things this season couldn't be much more of a disaster. On the other hand if you were happy with watchable basketball (where you'd only have to fight nausea on occasion) and a slight improvement on last year's historically bad season it hasn't been all that bad. There has been a lot of excuse making and rationalizing that has gone on with the give them more time crowd as well as a lot of overstated hyperbole from those who feel cheated once again by this organization. It can be hard to fairly draw a line in the sand and state "this is the minimum standard anything less is indefensible."
That is what I hope to do. Simply be fair. The roster has been more or less remade twice in the last two years. As much as I'd like to see instant success that's a standard that just wouldn't be fair. Kahn took over a team that had finished with a 24 win season. I'd like to hold on to that number as a benchmark, but I'm not certain that's fair either. It might be in Kahn's case, but not so much in Rambis' case. That 24 win team was more or less disbanded. What I purpose when judging Kahn and Rambis is to look at this team over the last two years like it was a new expansion team. I think that's a reasonably fair minimum standard for judging a coach and GM the hit the reset switch and used their assets to start over. A higher standard might be fair too, but I'm only aiming at a consensus minimum standard and I think this is it.
So how are they doing?
Here's a breakdown of the win totals of every NBA expansion team added in the Wolves era over their first two seasons.
Team Season 1 Season 2
Timberwolves 22 wins 29 wins
Bobcats 18 wins 26 wins
Miaimi Heat 15 wins 18 wins
Orlando Magic 18 wins 31 wins
Toronto Raptors 21 wins 30 wins
NO Hornets 20 wins 19 wins
Van. Grizzles 15 wins 14 wins
Average 18.4 wins 23.9 wins
Kahn/Rambis TW 15 wins 17-20 wins ???
Never mind that we have had 3 top 6 draft picks in that time span. Or that we have a current all-star on the roster and a fringe candidate in Big-Al last year. What I see is that when we compare the actual on court success of the Kahn/Rambis Wolves to expansion teams only the Grizzles are worse than the Wolves who are on pace to maybe tie the Heat. This my friends is indefensible.