Minnesota Timberwolves Look to Build on Hot Start

By Nick Guenther
Greg Smith – USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves‘ core of Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love, and Nikola Pekovic have looked amazing, and so has new addition Kevin Martin.  The team sits at 3-0 and must continue to build on this momentum.  The Timberwolves play four games this week, all of them against potential playoff teams, and could easily be sitting at or below .500 at the end of the week if they play complacently.

 The Wolves have played with intensity thus far, though, and should continue to do so.  Rumors of Rubio improving his shot in the offseason look to have just been rumors, as the point guard is shooting just 35.3 percent from the floor and has made just three three-pointers in three games.  His passing and defense continue to amaze everyone who watches him, though, and he’s averaged 10.3 assists and 3.7 steals per game over this small sample size.

Love seems to be back and better than ever.  He has put up truly MVP level numbers over these three games, averaging 29.7 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists.  It’s possible these numbers will level off some, but it’s clear that Love is the same player or better than he was before missing most of last season.  If his production continues at this pace, the Timberwolves should be able to match up with any opponent and win the majority of their games.

 Pekovic has been a force down low, though his stats have dropped off a bit because he’s now sharing points and rebounds with Love.  Still, he’s shown off killer footwork in the post and managed to average close to a double-double.

 One of the nicest early season surprises for the Wolves has been Kevin Martin.  Everyone knew Martin could shoot, and he’s been lights out so far this season, shooting an insane 58.3 percent from beyond the arc.  That figure will definitely even out closer to 40 percent as the season wears on, but there are more good signs from Martin.  He has been driving to the basket more which has resulted in a huge increase in his attempted free-throws.  Martin is one of the best free-throw shooters in the league, and if he can get to the line more his scoring average will be above 20 points per game for the season.

The Wolves’ key players have all done their jobs so far, and it’s led to three victories.  If they continue to perform at this level they will be in the playoff hunt come spring.  The Wolves need to prove they can perform consistently, though, something that has always been a problem for them.  Winning their first three games is nice, but few will be truly impressed until they carry a healthy squad with a winning record into the All-Star break.

Nick Guenther is a Minnesota Timberwolves Writer for Rantsports.com.  Follow him on twitter @nickynicknickk or add him to your network on Google.

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