After the first nine games of this season the Wolves sported a 6-3 record and I, despite knowing better, projected they would match this record over their next nine games. Instead, the team went 3-6 and now sits at .500.
Tom Kelly always told his players not to get too high after wins or too low after losses. This is a good lesson for Timberwolves fans - just as Kevin Love was unlikely to keep playing like Wilt all season long, this squad is not going to lose twice as many games as it wins.
As I mentioned in my first milestone post, we can look at the season as a three act play. We are now two-thirds through the first act - we are starting the end of the beginning, if that makes sense. Sample sizes are getting bigger, impressions are becoming ingrained, trends are looking more sustainable. As our team comes into clearer focus, it's good to realize that there are still a ton of games to play and that the Timberwolves in March are not going to be the T'wolves of November.
Reasons for optimism:
- Mbah a Moute is a better fit for the team than was DWill.
- Turiaf and Bud will substantially improve the bench when they return.
- It's possible we can make another useful trade
Reasons for pessimism:
- The bench will be weak until Turiaf and Bud return. By they way, when will that be?
- The schedule is challenging in the near term.
- 7th in differential (+4.8), just ahead of their next opponent, OKC (+4.6).
- 3rd in PPG (106.1) behind HOU and LAC.
- 7th in PF drawn - I would have thought them higher.
- 2nd lowest (behind SA) in PF committed.
- 22nd in 3FG% - not great, but far from last year's historic ineptitude.
TIMBERWOLVES - 9-9, tied for 11th in the Western Conference (and would be tied for 3rd if MN was in the Eastern Conference!)
LAST 9 GAMES
Projected record: 4-5 (5 road games; likely losses to MIA, SA twice, OKC and either Portland or Memphis)
NBA TOP TEN WATCH
Points - Love #4, Martin #7
Rebounds - LOVE #1
Assists - Rubio #3
Steals - RUBIO #1, Brewer #10
Minutes Played - Love #7
FTA - Love #3
FT% - Martin #2
Adorability - RICKY #1
EX-WOLVES WATCH (Small sample size)
Beasley - .170 WS/48
Webster - .166 WS/48
Kirilenko - .126 WS/48
Wes - .102 WS/48
Tolliver - .063 WS/48
Wayne - .040 WS/48
DWill - .026 WS/48
Stiemsma - .013 WS/48
Ridnour - -.082 WS/48
Since the Wolves have played 18 games, I leave you with this, one of the more unlikely hits of the last century: