No time of year excites fans more than the eve of a favorite team taking the field or court. By definition, fans live on hope and those who follow losing teams spend off-seasons convincing themselves and others that fortunes will improve.
The Timberwolves were 6-2 in exhibition games last year and then compiled a regular season 17-65 record. Because of the NBA labor dispute and the strike-shortened season to come, the Wolves will play only two preseason games with the first coming tomorrow night at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. The following advice is offered:
Don’t make judgments about the Wolves based on the opening preseason game or the next game on December 21, also against the Bucks but in Milwaukee.
The time to start sending opinions via emails, tweets and Facebook is after the first 10 games of the regular season. By then the Wolves will have played seven home games, three on the road and seen four of the best teams in the NBA.
The Wolves will play six of their first seven games at home including against the NBA champion Mavericks and the team Dallas beat for the league title last June, Miami. Also coming to Minneapolis is NBA title wannabe Oklahoma City and a fading but still exceptional San Antonio team.
Ten games will be enough to make solid judgments about the Wolves but not long enough to regard those opinions as anything but flexible. For those who want to be optimists, though, there’s reason to be in good spirits about the team right now.
No offense to Flip Saunders, but new coach Rick Adelman may prove to be the franchise’s best coach ever. The man has taken 16 teams in 20 seasons to the playoffs, and twice to the NBA Finals. Sometimes he’s had to coach up teams lacking experience and talent.
If you pay any attention to the Wolves — a franchise that hasn’t been to the playoffs in seven years — you know that qualifies this man to coach the team. And yet it’s not that his roster isn’t intriguing and doesn’t tease us with promise.Comments Welcome