Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
We take a look at the Minnesota Timberwolves after 21 games
Remember 10 games ago? Neither do we, but here it was.
After 11 games your favorite professional basketball team was plagued by injuries and horrendous shooting, especially from the great beyond.
After 21 games, your favorite professional basketball team is somewhat less plagued by injuries and horrible shooting and it sits at 12-9 with the 2nd best record in the Northwest Division. What has happened? Let's take a look-see.
First, here's the team after 11:
Now after 21:
Team and Opponent Stats
Not much stands out other than that the Wolves have been the beneficiaries of opposing teams simply deciding to stop making a lot of free throws. I don't know how much defense you can play at the line, but the Wolves are certainly benefiting from it. Throw in their upper-eschalon free throw taking capabilities and we're still left where we were after 11 games: The Wolves win and play well because of free throws. Not much has changed.
Beyond the free throws, there has been some fun at the individual level.
OK, the above chart lists the differences between games 1-11 and 12-21. What can we take away from the last 10 games? Kevin Love had one of the worst 10 game stretches of his career and the Wolves ended up with a 7-3 record while getting Ricky Rubio back into the lineup. Hooray!
Meanwhile, Alexey Shved began to assert himself as a starting two guard and Pek started to play like Pek again.
If Kevin Love starts playing like he is capable of, and if Shved is for real, and if Pek continues his recent play...oi. Just imagine how crazy it will be when Bud gets back. Until then, the last 10 games provided the Wolves with a winning record, their franchise point guard, a renewed Pek...and one of the worst 10 game stretches from their best player that we're likely to see.
The next 10 games will see an improved quality of opponent. Will the Wolves respond? Will Love play up to his abilities? Will Pek continue his trajectory towards last year's Pek?
We shall see. We shall see.
Back to moving and until later.