The Minnesota Timberwolves truly became the shock of last season as they went from the 13th seed in the west to the 7th seed last year. They made the playoffs for the first time since having Jimmy Butler, and they have looked to capitalize on that. All their moves as of lately have been pro-competing for a championship. Here’s the prediction on how these moves will pay out for the 2022-23 season.
Minnesota Timberwolves 2022-23 Season Preview
The Timberwolves finished the 2021-22 NBA season as a 7th seed, making the play-in. They won their first play-in game and ended up battling against the Grizzlies in round one. This series went six games before the Timberwolves lost, but was a lot closer than the record implies. The Timberwolves would’ve won the series if they only played three quarters, yet their fourth-quarter failures ended up being their downfall.
The Timberwolves also set a new winning identity last year. This had to do a lot with Patrick Beverley and the energy he gave. This identity shifted somewhat throughout the season as at one point they were an offensive powerhouse, while at another point they shined on defense.
The Timberwolves addressed most of their problems this offseason through their recent acquisitions. Their main two problems were rebounding and efficient shooting. It’s surprising that the Timberwolves would struggle with shooting with a team led by such an efficient big man. Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves’ 3-point shooting percentage with an impressive 41%.
Despite Towns’ efforts, the wings struggled to hit shots when open. The Timberwolves addressed this by signing Kyle Anderson and Bryn Forbes. Anderson had a down year shooting-wise last year, yet was decently efficient from the corners. He should also add to the rebounding issue as he averaged 5.3 last year. As for Forbes, he shot 41.4% from three on almost 4 attempts a game.
The biggest acquisition for the Timberwolves was a trade to Utah for Rudy Gobert. Gobert should be able to single-handedly fix the Timberwolves’ rebounding issues as he averaged 14.7 rebounds last season. He should also add a nice post-presence and allow Towns to continue to thrive on the perimeter.
2022-23 Season Preview
After going all-in for Gobert, the Timberwolves should look to be a high playoff team this year. In order to finish as a top seed, they need a couple of factors to pan out. The first of these is they need Anthony Edwards to completely break out. Edwards has shown star potential since being drafted first overall two years ago. He has the athleticism to be a solid defender and the ability to drive downhill or hit shots. If he can take over as an efficient primary scoring option, the Timberwolves will truly see success. He shot 35.7% from three last year on 8.4 attempts per game.
The second factor the Timberwolves need to pan out is the double-center lineup. While most teams decide to go small, the Timberwolves have taken a different approach and have decided to go big. The inclusion of Gobert alongside Towns will make for an interesting experiment on both sides of the ball. On defense, Gobert should have no issues holding it down in the paint. Towns may struggle on the perimeter but could provide great help defense due to his size. On offense, Gobert and Towns are highly efficient down low. They also shouldn’t have spacing issues due to Towns’ elite skillset behind the line.
Lastly, the Timberwolves need the role players to pan out. Jaden McDaniels is a young prospect who should look to step up as both a solid defender and a decent shooter. He could be the perfect final addition to this starting lineup. They also need to rely heavily on D’Angelo Russell as a playmaker. Last year he played a great role as both a decent defender and a quality playmaker. With more scoring continuing to be added, he needs to embrace this role even more. As for the rest of the players, playing defense and hitting shots should be their primary focus. If all goes well, look for the Timberwolves to be dark horse contenders by the end of the year.