The Minnesota Timberwolves just won back to back games for the second time this season, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New Orleans Hornets. While the Cavaliers game was an ugly win, the New Orleans Hornets game gave a clear flash as to what kind of team the Minnesota Timberwolves can be. One thing is clear, the youth and inconsistency will go away eventually with some experience in game time situations, and just some chemistry.
Understand that this team is featuring 11 new players, some hand me down talents from other teams that haven't quite got into their own skin, and yet it's clear to see that the Wolves have turned into a team similar to the Oakland Raiders of the NFL. That means that players that have been high draft picks, or have had a history of injuries of failure, can go to the Minnesota Timberwolves in hopes of a fair chance.
Head coach Kurt Rambis said in regards to Darko, "Just give us a fair chance, and we'll give you one." So far, everyone is now starting to get their fair shot one way or another. Point guard Jonny Flynn got to show his skills in his rookie season consistently, Corey Brewer was a most improved player candidate last season, Darko is getting consistent playing time and is justifying his playing time, Martell Webster gets the chance to show that he can create his own shot, but most importantly, Kevin Love and Michael Beasley are showing that they are legit All-Star caliber talents in the NBA.
Who are the Whipping Boys of the NBA Now?
Minnesota Timberwolves' GM David Kahn continued to stress that they need to change the culture, as in players at the end of the day will begin to embrace coming to a lower market city, and in doing that will be in hopes of consistent playing time, and that there will be no chemistry issues, and everyone will be given a fair shot. With this season, the culture has changed for the better.
Continuing to talk about the Wolves in the media, Love and Beasley will tell you that their turnaround is on the way. There is legit faith in themselves and the roster, Minnesota Timberwolves fans are stronger than ever due to great marketing ploys by David Kahn, and the Wolves show more promise than they ever have with their current roster than they have in the last seven years.
Kevin Love dismisses LeBron James' comments on contraction of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Michael Beasley continues to say that we are going to win, both Beasley and Love know they must get better on the defensive end, and we still haven't talked about Rubio. Understand, Rubio coming over next season, Darko excelling in his role and Beasley and Love putting up all star numbers is possibly going to be the best thing that has ever happened to the franchise.
For a franchise that has seen countless dumb trades (Foye for Roye), finally some things are starting to roll the Wolves' way. The culture has been changed, and regardless of the fact if the Wolves start winning games or not, anyone that thinks the Wolves aren't a player (Rubio) or two (high lottery pick) away and another year of experience are simply misinformed by the ignorant sportswriters of ESPN and their diehard journalist followers.
In the midst of this season, Kevin Love averages 20 points and 15 rebounds, Michael Beasley is averaging 22 points and six rebounds and it appears that rookie Wes Johnson has started to find his game and is being more aggressive.
While Kahn hasn't been the greatest GM, he has put the Wolves in a position to succeed with plenty of talent, tons of cap room, and flexibility with draft picks for the future. He has hired who is regarded as one of the best talent scouts in the country in Tony Ronzone (insiders tell me that Kahn is no longer scouting (good), and that Tony Ronzone is doing all of the scouting), and for what it's worth, Kurt Rambis still can be a good hire if this season starts panning out during the second half for the Wolves.
Are the Wolves still the whipping boys of the NBA? Will the media continue to bash them over and over for countless mistakes and misfortune? I don't know, but I do know that a new day has come for the Wolves.