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Tuesday Cup of Canis: Not Letting the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good

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A few notes on our current Timberwolves

Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Friends, I’m pressed for time, so it’s going to be a dreaded notes column today:

  • I tweeted this the other night:

The Wolves have their team going forward now this season. They added a couple of guys who appear to be helpful and reasonably easy to root for. For the first time in a while, I am finding it fairly easy to watch and enjoy Wolves basketball, and I remembered why it can be fun.

In other words: I’m trying, at least while the games are happening, to put aside all the things that are still wrong with this team and this franchise, and just enjoy the decent basketball the Wolves are giving us for as long as it lasts. Acceptance that things will never be perfect.

  • Since Robert Covington and Dario Saric joined the team, the Wolves have the third best defensive rating in the league, and the seventh best net rating. On the other hand, their offense has plummeted to 26th. (All per nba.com.) Covington is a game changing defensive player, the likes of which we haven’t seen for 15 years.
  • Thibs obviously loves him, to the tune of 36 minutes per night; hopefully he can maintain his energy.
  • One of the things the Wolves are doing well is stealing the ball. Second in the league in steals per game on the season (9.5 per,) and just over 10 per since the trade. So although their overall opponent turnover percentage isn’t quite at last season’s level, they are getting a lot more of the most valuable type of turnovers.
  • I’ll never be a big fan, but in the spirit of trying to not let myself get too frustrated, I’m working on not getting angry every time Derrick Rose comes into the game, and we would be wrong not to point out his impressive offensive numbers and that he’s likely the current frontrunner for Sixth Man of the Year. I doubt his shooting will sustain, but he’s doing the job so far.
  • Things are not going well for Andrew Wiggins. The thought was that he’d have more room to operate in the absence of Butler, but it hasn’t helped. Even by his mediocre shooting standards he’s in a terrible slump, so much so that he’s been benched for the last two fourth quarters.
  • Of course most of his minutes are being taken by Rose, which I doubt is sustainable, but under the circumstances it’s worth asking how relevant Wiggins is at this point (beyond the contract, obviously.)
  • The Wolves are home for the their next four against some talented competition, then on the road for ten of the next 13 through January 2nd. We should learn a lot about the team and what sort of chances they have over the next six weeks or so.