The Timberwolves had an okay preseason, already plagued with injuries to key players. Those key players were Al Jefferson, Kevin Love and Wayne Ellington. Oleksiy Pecherov also had an injury, but despite the fact that the Wolves lost two of their best players, they finished the preseason with a 3-5 record.
While Al Jefferson will be ready to go in the regular season opener, it gave other players to step up, and in a number of ways. This means that while the Wolves missed 2 key players, when they are both healthy, the Wolves will be an even stronger unit.
Although preseason is not a valid indication as to how the regular season will go, most teams are taking every game (including preseason) seriously, which would explain a 40+ point deficit in the victory of the Atlanta Hawks by the Orlando Magic last night.
Jonny Flynn and Corey Brewer stepped up night in and night out , combining for 30+ points most nights.
With that being said, I have personal expectations for each of the players, but for now, I will briefly go over arguably our 5 best players in no particular order.
The Timberwolves can expect a consistent 14 points every night, with an addition of 4+ assists very consistently. Turnovers might be an issue like every rookie, but Jonny Flynn should be in the running for rookie of the year. I expect Russel Westbrook numbers from Flynn, with a better three-point shooting percentage.
On the defensive side of things, Jonny Flynn will get steals sparingly, but it's his on the ball defense and quickness, that will keep point guards from penetrating.
14 PPG, 4-5 APG, 2-3 RPG, 1 SPG
Ramon Sessions, the starting point guard from the Milwaukee Bucks has a vast resume in only 2 seasons in the NBA. A 40+ point performance, a triple double, a few double doubles and the best of all, a 24 assist performance. As a starter, Ramon Sessions would easily average 14+ points, 7+ assists, but with Jonny Flynn there, Ramon expects to average 10+ points, 4+ assists.
He's very confident in his abilities as a point guard, but as a shooting guard, not an average 3-point shooter whatsoever. On the defensive side of things, Ramon has size and quickness to defend against any point guards in the league.
10 PPG, 4-5 APG, 2-3 RPG
I expect Al Jefferson to be Al Jefferson. Un-guardable in the post, with a more attentive side to defense. He's going to shoot a lot more jumpers, and I think because of that, he's going to be healthy for the whole season. Losing 30 pounds does help a ton for a guy that's quick on his feet.
He will be incredibly rusty for the first 10-20 games or so, but soon he will break out of that.
20 PPG, 10 RPG, 2 BPG
When the "Loveliest" comes back from his injury, expect that "chip" on his shoulder to be a full blown computer. He already plays with more intensity and focus than he did last season, now it's only a matter of time before he's a guy doing everything on the court.
Kevin Love is going to be a leading rebounder in the league no question, most likely top 5 average.
14 PPG, 11 RPG, 1 BPG
The development of Corey Brewer is a mystery at this point, but it's looking very good despite that. Averaging 16 points in the preseason is a fresh start, but its the 2 steals, 4 rebounds and almost a block a game that intrigues me. When everyone mentions the nucleus, they mention a combination of Jefferson, Love, Flynn and Sessions, but people are completely forgetting this guy.
Corey Brewer could be a secret weapon that the Wolves are holding, and if he can keep up the double digit scoring, Corey Brewer could be one of the main reason for the Wolves winning 30+ games next season. Our only defensive stopper, regardless of how you want to look at it, is a guy that the Wolves need to keep, Wolves fan's have a feeling that after this preseason..."He's going to be pretty good".
13 PPG, 4 RPG, 2 APG, 2 SPG, 1 BPG
All in all, with Jefferson and Brewer back, the Wolves are much more competitive. Also, Ramon Sessions and Jonny Flynn contribute so much more than Sebastian Telfair and Randy Foye was able to last season.
NBAtv's analyst's are talking 10 wins and 15 wins for the Wolves, but that's impossible with a healthy Al Jefferson and Corey Brewer.
I expect the Wolves to win high 20s, low 30s, and that includes injuries. The team is much better than last seasons, the guards and bigs are improved. Ultimately with a all star coaching staff, the Wolves are going to be very competitive, and like the NBAtv's secret scout said, "If healthy, this team is going to be better, than what people realize."
Thanks for reading!
P.S- Check out my article on Flynn and Brewer- "The Future Guards on Wolves "? Also, check out my blog !