As the winter months near, residents of Minnesota have little left to keep them warm at night. Sports fans have already had to suffer through some rough months of baseball and now seemingly football. But alas, there is hope.
Last season, before any of these silly lockout talks began to fill our days, there was a team that overperformed every night, despite having a rather thin lineup.
That team was the Houston Rockets and they won 43 games in a stacked Western Conference. Had they been in the East, they would have had the sixth seed.
This summer they lost their secret weapon: Rick Adelman.
Anyone who doesn't think Adelman is a great coach doesn't watch enough basketball. In his 20 seasons as an NBA coach, he compiled a winning percentage of .605. Not many guys can say that.
He's also had eleven consecutive winning seasons and that bodes well for a team that hasn't won 30 games in a season since Kevin Garnett left Minnesota.
Now, I'm not saying Adelman is going to come in, snap his fingers and the Wolves are suddenly going to be competing for the playoffs. What I am saying, however, is that Adelman is a winner. He brings a winning mentality and he must see something in these guys enough to make his residence in Minneapolis.
What does he see? Who knows, but I can make a pretty good guess.
The team has one of the most promising young centers in the game in Kevin Love. The dude is a rebounding machine and a point guard's dream.
Let's hope that Ricky Rubio is that point guard, but even if he isn't, the team still has Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams running the wings.
I like Williams. I like him a lot more than Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, who was chose with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, and I think he'll have an easier time transitioning into the NBA.
Of course you've also got a couple wild cards.
Anthony Randolph is a big one for me. I really like this kid, who was drafted in 2008, and I can't seem to figure out why he's bounced around the league so much. My guess is that he has a slight work ethic problem, which Adelman might help to correct. Then there's Darko Milicic. I could take him or leave him, but he was serviceable in the post and a good shot blocker.
And to round out the team you've got Martell Webster, Wesley Johnson, a great second-round grab in Malcolm Lee and dependable veterans in Luke Ridnour and Brad Miller.
All in all, there's plenty to look forward to and now that they've snagged one of the best coaches in the game, look for the Timberwolves to start making good on all that potential.
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