I have recently rejoined the CelticsBlog family and I'll be doing their previews for all 30 NBA teams in their annual SBNation team preview project. Each article includes a breakdown of last season, a recap of the teamís summer, a full depth chart, keys to this season and predicted standings.
Next up is the Minnesota Timberwolves. Here's a snippet:
FULL ARTICLE --- MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES 2014-15 PREVIEW - CELTICSBLOG.COM
X-FACTOR - Development of Youth
It is pretty clear that this year's Minnesota Timberwolves squad isn't going to make any kind of postseason run, but the pups are loaded with young talent from top to bottom and are in the process of fully embracing a promising youth movement. You can't measure the 2014-15 Wolves by their winning percentage; it's all about the maturation of their young core.
Will Ricky Rubio improve his efficiency and take the next step? Is Andrew Wiggins the real deal? Will Anthony Bennett's body transformation do him any good, or is he going to stand as one of the biggest NBA draft busts of all-time? Is Zach LaVine a legitimate pro or is he simply a freak athlete? Can Shabazz Muhammad carve out a role for himself at the NBA level?
Only time will tell, but Timberwolves fans have to feel a certain level of excitement to watch this team grow as the season progresses. At times, they will probably experience more ups than downs, but that's not what it's about right now. It's about the future.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2014-15
In 2014-15, Timberwolves fans can expect a lot of mistakes, growing pains and certainly more losses than victories, but we're also in store for one of the most exciting young teams that the NBA has to offer. Sure, this thing isn't going to turn around overnight and you can't expect a 19-year-old rookie to replace the production of a guy like Kevin Love, but they've finally built a foundation with a definitive direction.
The NBA is a "what have you done for me lately" kind of league and nobody likes to excessively regurgitate terms like "upside" and "potential," but even with that in mind, the Wolves will be fun to watch this season. Flip Saunders has constructed a remarkably athletic roster that is inexperienced, yet talented at each and every position on the floor. On top of that, the fan base's tone has shifted from uneasy and unsure to hopeful and giddy in the blink of an eye. Everybody knew that Love was going to get traded eventually, but the days leading up to the inevitable transaction were more or less depressing for months.
Turn those frowns upside down, Wolves fans, and howl with pride. Things are finally looking up. Exercise patience and enjoy the ride.
4th - Northwest Division
13th - Western Conference
At the top of the article, we've also included a link to Canis Hoopus' 2014-15 Wolves preview.
How do you feel about this season, Wolves fans? You've got to be excited. This is going to be an extremely fun team to watch and I'm really looking forward to watching them progress.