It takes a certain rigid optimism to cheer the Timberwolves through thick and thin, but with 27 losses and only five wins over the entire season, our W-L record is dropping jaws even among the most resilient of foul-weather fans.
Saturday's sluggish defeat by the Utah Jazz boosted the Wolves' losing streak to 11 games. We can blame bad luck in the draft lottery and a cursed Target Center -- after all, there must be a reason Corey Brewer started tearing up the court in Houston as soon as he left, adding three points to his season average in six games.
More likely, though, the team's just floundering to come up with any sort of big-picture vision in the post-Kevin Love era.
Ricky Rubio, for all his pocket passes and puppy dog charm, can't exactly make a basket with a gun to his head. Yet the Wolves gave the 24-year-old veteran point guard that $56 million, four-year extension last month. It's a strategy that seems utterly counterproductive to a team bent on rebuilding with a host of young, cheap players. Why overpay Rubio to lead the pack on the die-hard hope he'll start to shine after three years of lackluster performance?
Rookie Andrew Wiggins, our No. 1 draft pick in exchange for Love, has turned out to be a smarter investment. The 19-year-old started off rough, looking like another Timberwolves bust despite initial cries of prodigy. Lately, he's practically exceeding expectations just by meeting them, scoring at least 20 points in five out of the last six games. Young center Gorgui Dieng too is building steam, with a double-double in three of the last six games.
With a couple of promising young guys on top of Nikola Pekovic -- Rubio too if he weren't so damn expensive -- there might be hope for the Timberwolves as long as management can focus on acquiring and growing new talent. Monday night the Wolves play the Denver Nuggets, 14-20.
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