Minnesota Timberwolves: C–
Record: 31-50 | Midseason Grade: C | Off. Rating: 10 | Def. Rating: 27 | Net: 20
There are some who will rush to label the Timberwolves as one of the league’s biggest disappointments given that they fell way short of preseason Las Vegas projections that pegged them to be a winning team. That’s too harsh. The Timberwolves were a young squad with a new coach and zero track record of playing quality defense. As such, their season wasn’t all that surprising, although the loss of Zach LaVine to a season-ending knee injury qualifies as a body blow.
All signs point to Minnesota making the leap, a la the 2016 Pistons or the 2017 Bucks, next season. Karl-Anthony Towns has become an undeniable force, Ricky Rubio has played perhaps the best ball of his career in recent months and Andrew Wiggins has gradually improved his scoring efficiency. Plus, coach/executive Tom Thibodeau enters the summer with a better understanding of his personnel and the requisite spending power to address his roster’s weaknesses. Sometimes the hype arrives one year too early for young teams. Bank on Minnesota doing bigger things in 2018.
Escape while you can!