2011-12 NBA Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves

By Riley Schmitt

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been the doormat of the NBA for the last couple of seasons.  Ever since trading Kevin Garnett, the Timberwolves have been engaged in a series of moves to try to recover from the NBA basement.  However, most of those moves have been impeded by a goofy general manager by the name of David Kahn.  In spite of himself, Kahn has formed a young and talented roster.  Can the T’Wolves make a run to the playoffs this season?

The best off-season move Kahn made was hiring veteran coach Rick Adelman to lead this squad.  Adelman is highly underrated as a coach and should bring discipline to this young roster.  He’s been successful wherever he has been and I would be shocked if he doesn’t help turn the T’Wolves around.

The roster is headlined by All-Star power forward Kevin Love.  Love is a double-double machine who came into this season by dropping around 20 pounds.  The lost weight has allowed Love to be more mobile and it has also expanded his shooting range.  Love has been sniping from three point land in the preseason, which adds another dimension to the offense.

The two rookies, Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams, will also be fun to watch.  Most of the hype surrounds Chris Paul and Blake Griffin as the alley-oop machine, but don’t forget about Rubio and Williams.  Rubio may be one of the top passers in the league right now and Williams is an uber-athletic forward.  The highlights will be plenty with these two on the floor.

The only problem with the roster is the glut of point guards and centers.  At point, they have Rubio, Luke Ridnour, and J.J Barea.  At center, they have Darko Milicic, Anthony Randolph, Anthony Tolliver, and Nikola Pekovic.  Adelman will have to shore up his rotation early to make sure some chemistry can be developed.

Projected Starting Lineup:

  • PG Luke Ridnour
  • SG Wes Johnson
  • SF Michael Beasley
  • PF Kevin Love
  • C Darko Milicic

Best Lineup (according to me)

  • PG Ricky Rubio
  • SG Michael Beasley
  • SF Derrick Williams
  • PF Kevin Love
  • C Anthony Randolph

Projected Record:  30-36 (missed playoffs)


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