The Minnesota Timberwolves struggled in close games last year. It seemed like every week they were losing a heartbreaker. Kevin Love was great all year averaging 26 ppg and 12 rpg. Ricky Rubio was fully recovered from his ACL tear, starting in all 82 games for the first time in his career. The Wolves joined the Suns as the only two teams with a positive point differential but not make the playoffs. They finished the season 40-42.
Love was the All-Star he needed to be. He bounced back from his injury plagued season. He scored 2,000 points in a season for the first time while averaging a career high in points and assists. He also knocked down a career high 190 three pointers. While Love was healthy this season Nikola Pekovic battled injuries and played in only 54 games. He still had a solid year but he was sorely missed during stretches of the season.
A surprise for the Wolves was the play of rookie center Gorgui Dieng. He got more playing time late in the season and he had some moments. He averaged a double-double in the final month of the season to go along with 2 blocks.
The Wolves landed the 13th pick and selected high flyer Zach LaVine. LaVine has been showing off his dunking skills during the summer. He is also a streaky shooter who should fit in well with their new roster.
We all know the Wolves off-season was dominated by Kevin Love trade talk. He was finally traded to the Cavaliers and the Wolves got Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins. In a separate trade they added Thaddeus Young from the Sixers.
The Wolves added a lot of talent although they traded their superstar. This team will struggle but they should be one of the most exciting teams to watch. Just imagine Rubio throwing lobs to Wiggins, LaVine and even Glenn Robinson.
It will be interesting to see if all these new acquisitions get enough playing time. The Wolves still have veterans at all of their positions. Can Wiggins and LaVine get time over Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin? LaVine can play some point guard but Rubio, Barea and new addition Mo Williams will get those minutes. The Wolves need to clean house and let these young guys play. This season will be about learning for the young Wolves and I see them winning 23-25 games.