Minnesota Timberwolves: 6 Early, Positive Signs from the Team
Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Rick Adelman and company have put together some fantastic fireworks in this fledgling season. They have won two games against old foes. Ricky Rubio is making a case for Rookie of the Year and Kevin Love will not let his rebounding crown go away easily.
The Wolves are playing solid basketball. Every loss has been close and every win seems to come easily.
The team knows what they need to improve on and Rick Adelman is letting everyone know it (free throws and turnovers).
What is the best thing about this early-season buzz? The Wolves are watchable again. I'm no longer channel surfing through the third quarter when they get down by 15. The team is playing four quarters of good, solid basketball.
Let's break down some of the good parts of this young season.
1. Point Guard Play
Insert David Kahn point guard joke here.
But seriously, folks, the team's guard play has been anything but funny. Ricky Rubio is not a fluke. He made some well-timed passes in the Wolves' wins and looks to be a staple in future SportsCenter Top 10 lists.
Even though JJ Barea has been injured, he has been an important mentor to the young Spaniard (as well as to the rest of the young team). He also has a 13.9 player efficiency rating.
Most pleasantly, Luke Ridnour seems to be thriving. Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the veteran Ridnour is enjoying the new-look Wolves. He's also playing like he's enjoying it as well. He is averaging 11.3 points per game and shooting 54 percent per game.
2. Rick Adelman's Leadership
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Rick Adelman will not accept defeat. Nor will he accept our wins at face value.
Adelman has brought a new attitude to this team, and the Wolves have taken note. It's no longer acceptable to put your tails through your legs and whimper through a game when you are losing.
Adelman's attitude and work ethic creates a great atmosphere for this young team to develop. More importantly, it is also a winning atmosphere.
3. Kevin Love Is Still Kevin Love
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Instead of being a last-minute addition to the All-Star squad, Kevin Love will most likely be a lock for this year's team.
He is also putting himself in some historic company. Love is averaging 25.7 points and 15.0 over the course of the first six games. Who was the last person to put up numbers like those? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975.
Get the contract extension finished now, David Kahn!
4. Breaking Long Losing Streaks
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It had been nearly five years since the Wolves last defeated the Spurs. It had been about two years since we last defeated the Mavericks.
Buckling down and beating two veteran teams are nice feathers in the Wolves' cap.
5. They Are Not Content
After a few long, miserable seasons, it would be easy to start sending out the confetti after a two-game win streak.
Rick Adelman is not going to do that.
Adelman knows this team's weaknesses: reducing turnovers and making more free throws.
While no one really expects the Wolves to win the NBA championship this year, it would be nice to make our former No. 1 draft pick (now owned by the New Orleans Hornets) a lot lower than everyone originally expected.
6. Fans Are Coming
This is one of the most positive signs about the team. According to past box scores, the Wolves are averaging about 1,200 more fans a game over last year.
The talking sports heads also believe the hype surrounding the Wolves is real. In ESPN's 5-on-5 round table, all participants bought that the Wolves will live up to their early hype.
Believe! Next game is tonight versus the Cavs at 7:00 p.m. CST.