The Minnesota Timberwolves are in one of those strange situations that requires a team to give up before it can dig in. Minnesota is 17-22 through 39 games, five games below .500 with the NBA All-Star break drawing near. Kevin Love is out yet again after returning too early from a fractured hand and the team has lost all its mojo because of it. Love cannot be healed–properly, anyway–in time for a playoff push, so the 2012 season should be chalked up for the Timberwolves and the 2013 season should be their main focus from this point on.
Does that mean they need to forfeit all their remaining games? Absolutely not. However, they cannot rush Love back from injury and try to salvage a season that isn’t worth saving.
The Timberwolves have shown they can be lethal when all their core players are healthy, so that should be the focus heading into 2013. They have a solid core in Love, Ricky Rubio and JJ Barea, not to mention role players in Brandon Roy and Andrei Kirilenko who could provide big plays at any given time. Even still, Minnesota has found two gems in Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson, so there’s a solid seven-man rotation that could contend in the Western Conference if, and only if, everyone is healthy and at their best. If the Timberwolves try to rush the process now, they will ruin their chances of making one unified push in 2013.