NBA Predictions 2011: How Season Will Play out for Minnesota Timberwolves

Tim HarveyCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2011

It's been A Long Time.
It's been A Long Time.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Taking the talent to Minneapolis.

Chris, Dwyane and LeBron better watch out. Yeah, we've heard that all thrown the way of the South Beach elite before, an ensemble that really deserved more respect last season for what the Miami Heat achieved. With that being said, however, the Heat will have to avoid even more glare. Miami may be one hit away from a dynasty and this still may be Dallas town (thanks to the big three ball that is Dirk Nowitzki), but everyone better watch out. There's a new kid on the block and his names Ricky.

Coming to America from Spain by way of Minnesota, Ricky Rubio is ready to give the Timberwolves some real bite behind that bark. Now don't let those baby-face looks fool you, when men grow old like this it's no more fun and games—and we're about to see it all played out on court. Mr. Rubio has his own big three ready to take everyone to school. Now let's just see how much class they really have. Allow us to introduce you to the following.


Meet Michael Beasley

They looked at the tats, dreads and tweets and wrote him off. But what they didn't see is the inked desire, the growth and character of a one time raw player who breathes a fresh air of crazy, tapped potential and discovered talent.

With the heart of a lion and the determination of an Iverson, "Easy Mo' Bease" has been through the hard times. So he's ready to grind it out over 82, doing whatever he needs to do to take his team from the bad books to the success stories. Michael's story is one of redemption, coming back from troubled times to prove the critics and the doubters wrong.

The Next Most Underrated.
The Next Most Underrated.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Coming in with a trio of great rookies in 2009 with Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo, Beasley was set to be the next big thing. Now Rose has bloomed into league MVP and Mayo's career has been garnished with success. Still, that is not to discredit the career of Bease. He's had his downs and now he's on the up and up, fast becoming one of the leagues prime perimeter players and outstanding offensive threats.

Speaking of big three's, Beasley was drafted by Miami to be the future with Dwyane Wade, but now with Bosh and LeBron, Mike's Miami career is in the past. Still, don't think that a man that close to franchise success is done. He's still young and even more motivated to prove wrong a Heat team that went cold on him.

Forming an incredible trio of his own in Minnesota, Bease's passion and drive may be the x-factor of this team. This cool, laid-back cat may have a monkey on his back, but he's not arrogant enough to have a chip on his shoulder. Just be confident that this young man's future could involve chips that lie on the shoulders of Larry O'Brien.


Meet Kevin Love

He's more then just the NBA's Most Improved Player, he's one of the leagues best. Hate him or second-name him, but expect Kevin to be around the NBA for many more years. Love's a supreme talent with an inside knowledge for the game. The post player really is the center of attention for the Timberwolves and their opponent's scouting reports.

Shaking Off The Critics.
Shaking Off The Critics.Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Talking about standing on the shoulders of giants, K Love stands on the stilts of Chamberlain's numbers and don't expect those statistics to wilt. With records of 30 points and 30 rebounds, Kevin's court vision is incredible and the man critics called fat has nothing but a whole, well-rounded game. Dominating the paint with a canvas of moves, Love finishes and starts Minnesota's breaks with strength in heart and basketball art.

Even when he's prepared to do the dirty, ugly work it makes for the perfect, potentially playoff-bound picture. The little routine things he does results in complications for opponents and big things for his home-team. Right now Kevin Love is Minny's best player and as he becomes the league's best, things are only going to get bigger and better for the Minnesota Timberwolves.


Meet Ricky Rubio

Let's hope this kid's ready for the "showbiz". Not only is Ricky stacked with potential, he is the best young guard that the Minnesota Timberwolves have had since Stephon Marbury. He the 'Wolves best draft pick and first potential franchise star since Kevin Garnett. Not only is he the greatest, most anticipated international import coming into the league since the Chinese revolution of Yao Ming, he's also the most exciting, new, young and "ready to go" player to grace the league since some kid called LeBron. While James has crafted his big-three in South Beach, one has finally been birthed in the Northwest with the development of Rubio.

Rube really is a gem that was worth the wait. This long-overdue joint venture with the Timberwolves was put on hold due to some nurturing in Spain, via basketball powerhouse Barcelona. How funny it is that Rubio was running rings around the Lakers in the 2009/2010 preseason, the same week his Timberwolves team-to-be were doing it in London (more on that later). And how ironic is it that after all these years of playing in Europe, the moment Ricky came to the NBA was the same time his new peers flocked in the opposite direction, trying to find work in Europe as the NBA closed it's doors. It's all open now, though.

More Potential Drafting In.
More Potential Drafting In.Mike Stobe/Getty Images

An all-around player, complete with a skill set that's beyond just the X's and O's. Now at 20, this kid's still dribbling and handling the ball better then most. With soccer-speed and a knowledge of the game that can keep up with his athleticism, this guy's going to make everyone from Steve Nash to Magic proud. Get the point yet? Now that Minnesota have their guard, everyone else will have to protect their house. This young Timberwolf looks to own courts in America like he did around the international basketball world, living up to his justification.

With the slick Ricky running the show in Minnesota, these Timberwolves won't be purring much longer. You'll hear from them everywhere. Now don't sleep, because these 'Wolves can go all night, as their new star's about to wake them up and re-invigorate their brand of basketball. This young prince is going to put Minnesota on the map with a revolution in the game. Get ready for Minnesota's new power generation.

Big three's are no new new thing. Trifecta's of NBA musketeers were popular before the mid-nighties—like Milwaukee's days of Ray Allen, Sam Cassell and the "Big Dog"—but still there's just something about this triple-threat promise. Minnesota, however, can make up the numbers beyond their first three options and go to guys.

Their roster is also present and accounted for in talent and potential. With Darko Miličić finally living up to some of his potential and with insurance in the post from Brad Miller, Minny's big front line is ready for battle. Luke Ridnour and Martell Webster are seriously underrated guards and Wesley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver are great young players.

How about a valuable dunking veteran in Bonzi Wells to spark-plug the bench...and guess who won the hunt for great bench point and certified champion Jose Barea? Then, of course, there is this year's second pick in the draft, Derrick Williams. Could we be looking at a big four, maybe? With Rubio coming late to Minnesota it's like Christmas has come early, with two top draft picks. We aren't just looking at the playoffs this new year.

No Longer A Bust?
No Longer A Bust?Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It's also no wonder that this team rejected the rumored Lakers' offer of Lamar Odom for Love earlier this year, as Anthony Randolph is as versatile as Odom—or old favorite Garnett. This player has the potential to be a top-tier talent and even form another big four, if Williams takes his rookie time. Now with all this, if you think there's no way these basement dwellers could climb the ladder then maybe you should look again—or look at franchises in Oklahoma and Memphis. Minnesota isn't far away.

With three-of-a-kind and a full deck rounding out the rest of the roster it won't be long before these young Minnesota pups become grown, "reign men." Sure, last year they had the worst record in the league, but that's no reason to write this team off. Besides, the only way to go is up. Last year Minnesota boasted the most improved player in Love and some of their finest performances were against the then reigning champions—and the team they share the lakes with—in Los Angeles.

It won't be long before they're holding their own against more of the leagues big boys and top dogs, and it'll all be due to these young Wolves and "Da Kid" of their new generation—the most hotly, highly anticipated NBA-bound player of the last half decade. Ricky Rubio is finally here, his team is just about complete and their time is right now. They say big things happen in threes.


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