This edition of the swing is all about the up and coming Minnesota Timberwolves (28-16). If you thought that I wouldn’t mention the Golden State Warriors (34-9) in this piece, you were dead wrong. How can I leave out the Orange Roundball League’s best team? It’d simply be a crime. Since I have a clean record to date, let’s not ruin it without mention of the Splash Bros. & Co. You know, the great Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and their complimentary parts.
But this article isn’t about the juggernaut Warriors, it’s about the Minnesota Timberwolves. Absolutely nobody can say that they haven’t rocked the hardwood this season, making themselves a force in the rough and tumble Western Conference. In my opinion, the T’Wolves would create the biggest problem for the Warriors in a playoff series if they can stay healthy. Without getting too ahead of myself, the midpoint of the 2017-18 season has been reached. However, there are still a total of 82-games on the league slate, meaning that anything can happen. But this won’t spoil my thoughts about the Timberwolves today.
So, why do I think these Wolves could present issues to Golden State in a seven-game playoff series? Well, first things first. . . The Warriors don’t have the one and only 22-year-old center, Karl-Anthony Towns. Although he may be what I’d like to call a young pup, he’s certainly not a member of your younger brother or sister’s T’Pups. With their overall record as well as a bevy of role players outside of their superior trio of stars, these ferocious T’Wolves are legit. Towns’ 7’0″, 248-pound frame, and ridiculous skillset make him the cornerstone of this franchise. And numbers like 20.2 points per game, 12.0 rebounds per game, and 2.3 assists per game will certainly instill wolf-like fear into the frontcourt of every team throughout the league.
The second and third parts of this carnivorous trio of studs are Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins. They both can produce buckets with the orange in their hands, and simply create nightmares for perimeter wing players with hungry defense. And with Golden State having two of the league’s premiere offensively gifted wing players (Steph and Klay), suffocating “D” on the perimeter must be the recipe to taking down the mighty Warriors in a seven-game series. Mr. Butler and Mr. Wiggins provide just the right ingredients.
Jimmy is big, strong, and quick. Standing 6’8″ and weighing in at 236-pounds, he’s arguably the best on-the-ball defender in basketball. He’s a three-time NBA All-Star as well as a three-time NBA All-Defensive Team honoree. As a Chicago Bull last season, Butler received All-NBA Team accolades for the first time in his career. The 28-year-old from Houston, TX can flat ball out to the tune of 21.4 ppg, 5.4 RPG, and 5.1 APG. Yet another 20-plus ppg scorer for the Wolves. . . Scary as a real pack of wolves at your doorstep!
Finally, what about Andrew? This 22-year-old buck was the NBA’s 2014-15 Rookie of the Year. Seriously? Yup, if you’re looking for a straight baller, Mr. Wiggins is your man. And he’s no slouch either. Andrew stands 6’8″ and weighs 202-pounds. Don’t let that weight fool you. This kid shows strength much greater than 202-pounds. Dude is chiseled, and his long arms could certainly wreak havoc against Golden State’s sharpshooters, Mr. Curry and Mr. Thompson. Wiggins’ stat-line completes this meat-eating trio with 17.7 ppg, 4.1 RPG, and 1.7 APG.
I’ve given you the eyes to see how the size, strength, and athleticism of this backcourt duo could potentially slow a Curry and Thompson led attack. Add Towns on the interior, and it’s easy to size up a seven-game dogfight.
That’s the swing out West with the Timberwolves this week, ladies and gentlemen.