It's a bit strange to be a Timberwolves fan when things are apparently going well. I was thinking about this at the end of the season when all the sudden the national media was giving the Timberwolves a lot of attention during the awards season. While these awards are not yet determined for the most part, it is interesting to see who media members vote for. We all expected Karl-Anthony Towns to win the rookie of the year award, but then he was voted onto the All-NBA team 3rd team by several prominent NBA writers.
Ricky Rubio has also been making some waves on voting for the All-NBA defensive teams, something of which would be heavily approved by us here at Canis but years of defending his defensive value seem to have left us in a bit of surprise when others finally take notice.
The narrative of the Wolves being the up-and-coming team for next year was already developing due to the strong post All-Star break period where the Wolves beat teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors. The starting unit was gelling and the Wolves were noticeably one of the best offensive teams in the league, though the less said about the defense the better.
Then the Timberwolves went out and did the seemingly impossible for the Wolves organization, they ran a competent, professional, and quick coaching search and ended up with the most highly respected available coach in Tom Thibodeau. All of the sudden the concerns about defense and seemingly rudderless direction of the franchise have dissipated, leaving instead the assumed about to be fulfilled defensive potential that some of the Wolves, namely Wiggins and LaVine, have been scratching the surface of.
Now the hype has been hitting full force, with comparisons being thrown around that the Wolves could see a win jump similar to the third year of the Thunder, when Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and company went from winning 23 games the season before to 50 the following year.
It's hard not to get swept up in all the excitement and I know I will be following the off-season fervently to see how the Wolves are able to improve their roster via the draft and free agency, but it's also important to note that being the "up-and-coming" team does not always lead to immediate post-season appearances. The Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz were the teams on the rise in their respective conferences and both are sitting at home right now instead of playing in the playoffs.
However, as a Wolves fan I think that it's such an amazing moment that it is worth it to savor our attention on the national state and to be legitimately excited about the upcoming future. When was truly the last time that the Wolves had put together this strong of a core in terms of young talent and coaching ability? As the worst franchise in the league in winning percentage over time, the thoughts of success ahead is worth a little joy, even though they might not materialize as early as initially projected.
This Week in...Things that are Great!
As everyone is likely aware, this week also brought back Game of Thrones, which is a show that needs no introduction. However, there is a an upcoming series that is coming on Starz that I am pretty excited about called "American Gods" that Starz is aiming to be their own fantasy-styled big hit. The series is based upon a book of the same name by Neil Gaiman and is an excellent fantasy adventure in the modern world with a variety of mythologies at play. I would highly recommend checking out the book over the summer before the series comes out, as it's a really interesting introspection into the American ideals and life, whilst also just being an exciting page-turner.
The casting of the show has been excellent so far, headlined by Ian Mcshane as the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday. The show will likely air in late 2016 and is currently shooting now.