How to fake it this Wolves season
If you've been in an NBA slumber for the past 17 years, that's OK. The Timberwolves have been mostly asleep, too.
What's happening: For the first time since the mid-2000s, the Wolves are finally good — and not just in a one-off way like in 2018, when He Who Shall Not Be Named (OK, Jimmy Butler) gave the team one good year before acting like a child and forcing his way out.
So welcome back, bandwagon fans. Here's your guide to faking it this season.
State of play: Coming off an exciting but disappointing playoff appearance last season, the Wolves went all-in by trading for Rudy Gobert, a shot-blocking center from France.
- With Gobert, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns, the Wolves boast three of the top 25 players in the NBA, according to ESPN.
- The Wolves may have given up too much for Gobert — several first round draft picks and fan favorites Patrick Beverley and Jarred Vanderbilt. But let's not think about tomorrow. Let's enjoy the good times right now.
What to expect: If healthy, this Wolves team is a lock for the playoffs again. But nobody really knows how high their ceiling is.
- Gobert and Towns form twin towers, which should be good in the regular season, but could be a liability in the playoffs when opposing teams go small and make the Wolves' big guys chase faster players around the perimeter.
Why it matters: In the grand scheme of things, a sports team's success doesn't matter. But when an NBA team gets really good, it can bring a community together. Look at what happened in Milwaukee during the Bucks' 2021 title run, when tens of thousands of fans watched games outside in their "Deer District."
What could go wrong: It's Minnesota sports, so this season could easily go sideways. Towns was hospitalized with an unspecified illness that caused him to lose almost 20 pounds, Edwards has had knee problems, and point guard D'Angelo Russell is known to disappear for stretches.
What to know: Been a while since you've visited Target Center? A few tips:
- For those below zero nights in January, you can get into the arena via skyway. Download an app here.
- Check out Axios' rundown of the new food at the the arena this year
- Best pre-game happy hour: Murray's.
- Good post-game spots: The Depot Tavern, O'Donovan's or perhaps the new Tom's Watch Bar?
Tipoff: Tonight, 7pm, vs. Oklahoma City, Target Center.
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