How Can We Leave This Season Feeling Good?

Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn (USA TODAY Sports)

We can probably agree that this season hasn’t gone according to plan for the Minnesota Timberwolves. We don’t need to talk about who to blame yet. But to keep this season entertaining, what should fans be looking for?

What needs to happen during the remainder of the season for fans to feel optimistic? And for the love of Ricky Davis, do not say playoffs.

Let’s dive in.

Anthony Edwards turns into the Rookie of the Year

We’re at the point where there’s no need to dip Edwards’ toes in the water. You know what you have with Josh Okogie, and to a certain extent, the same goes for Jarrett Culver. Ryan Saunders has wisely started to play Edwards more. He has averaged 30 minutes per game in his last five games while averaging 18.2 points per game while shooting 44.4% from the field and 50% from the 3-point line.

How much can we take away from Edwards’ performances? Well, considering we have nothing else to cheer for, quite a bit! When you take a player first overall, generally, you’d like to see some signs that you’ve made the right decision.

Saunders should continue to let Edwards learn on the run, much like his father did with Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. If the Wolves find out they have a budding star, the future changes. If we find out that maybe Edwards isn’t as good as we had hoped, well, at least we’ll know.

Figuring out what the team has with Russell/Beasley/Towns

The hope is that by the end of the year, we’d be able to figure out if the D’Angelo Russell/Malik Beasley/Karl-Anthony Towns core can work. Of course, if Edwards turns into a star, that changes things. But we’re probably also at the point where we can admit that maybe DLo isn’t as good as we thought he was. It turns out when three teams seem just fine getting rid of a player, maybe he’s not that good.

Last week on the 10,000 Layups Podcast, Sports Illustrated’s Michael Pina asked if Beasley was better than Russell. While Beasley has been better than what could have been expected this season, that question was more of a knock on Russell than it was praise for Beasley. That question is NOT A GOOD QUESTION if you’re the Wolves.

It’s unknown when Towns will return after testing positive for COVID, but you bet Gersson Rosas will want to know exactly what he has with this group by the end of the year. You don’t have to try hard to rip on the Wolves, but it is completely wild that this trio has only played five games together so far, so they do have a bit of an excuse.

Don’t fall too far out of the top-3!

Of course, if the two items above go according to plan, the Wolves will probably start winning some games. Right now, the team is 5-15, last in the league. Even so, they only have a 40.1% chance to stay in the top three and keep their pick.

It is important, though, that the Wolves don’t fall too far down if they want to keep that top-three protected pick from going to the Golden State Warriors.

For example, if the Wolves were to fall to the fifth-worst record in the league, that percentage would dip down to 31.6%. That doesn’t seem like a huge shift, but 9% is a big deal, and I can guarantee you when we get late into the season, Rosas will be playing any percentage game he can to keep that pick.

Sadly, we’re a little more than a month into the season, and we’re already looking ahead to next season, but hey, that’s Timberwolves’ basketball, baby.

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Gobel Trouble and @WesTheWolvesFan

Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn (USA TODAY Sports)

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