Minnesota Timberwolves Details
The Timberwolves are the second NBA team to be based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. They currently play at the Target Center. They began playing in the 1989-90 season, 29 years after the Lakers moved to Los Angeles. In 1995, after many losing seasons, the Timberwolves drafted Kevin Garnett with the 5th overall pick. Garnett and rookie Stephon Marbury helped the team finally make the playoffs in 1996.
The Timberwolves’ most sustained success came between 1996 and 2004. They made the playoffs each year, for a streak of 8 consecutive playoff appearances. Their best season came in 2003-04: Kevin Garnett won MVP, and the Timberwolves finished as the West’s number one seed. The 2004 T-Wolves also made their deepest run in the NBA playoffs, making it to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Lakers in six games.
Since that conference finals run, times have been tough in Minnesota. The Timberwolves hold the dubious distinction of having the longest playoff active playoff drought in the NBA. They have not made the playoffs since the 2004 run, for a total of 13 consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance. The drought is the second longest of all time, behind a 15 game drought by the LA Clippers.
It isn’t easy to win in today’s Western Conference, but fans have reason to believe that the Timberwolves could end the drought this season. They have a pair of former first overall picks in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Wiggins and Towns were both Rookie of the Year winners. Both players improved on their Rookie of the Year performances in 2016-17. Wiggins set personal bests in nearly every statistical category, and Towns set the Timberwolves’ individual record for the most points in a season. Wiggins and Towns will be joined in Minnesota by former Chicago Bulls star and 2015-2017 all-star Jimmy Butler. Butler will also be reunited with his old coach in Chicago, Tom Thibodeau, a defensive-minded leader who took over in 2016. The T-Wolves promise to be a fun team to watch, and they’ll try to reward the Minnesota fans for their patience with a playoff berth in 2017-18.