To mark the long-awaited opening day of the team's season, we asked our favorite Wolves writers, bloggers, and fans to send us their predictions for the upcoming year.
Predicted record: 20-62
An inept and dysfunctional front office, an owner who should be seen and not heard, bad coaching, serious injuries (Theo Ratliff, Rashad McCants & Randy Foye), fat guys (Antoine Walker), redundant guys (Craig Smith & Chris Richard), guys who love guns (Sebastian Telfair), a lack of a point guard to run the show (Fred Hoiberg on Randy Foye: "I don't think he's a pure point guard.") and Marko Jaric all add up to a half empty Target Center by December. As the crowds dwindle, so will the interest in watching the talent and potential of Al Jefferson and Corey Brewer. The Wolves' new direction and commitment to youth may initially leave us filled with promise and hope for the future, however, once the losses start to rack up we'll all be pissed that we didn't whip out the plastic and order the $159 Early Bird special for the NBA League Pass so we don't miss a minute of KG and the Celtics this season.
A.K. Agikamik/KFAN Rube Chat
Predicted record: 30-52
The Wolves' new potential and the story lines that will flow throughout the season from the team's ups and downs have me excited. My greatest concern is Randy Wittman's capacity to rebuild the team and succeed as head coach.
Alex Halsted/Talkin’ T-Wolves
Predicted record: 30-52
I'm still staying optimistic about this team, and whether they win or lose, it'll be fun to watch a team that for the first time in a while seems to have a sense of direction.
Britt Robson/On The Ball
Predicted record: 23-59
The Wolves could win anywhere from 14 to 35 games this season. Yup, that's a ridiculously wide span, but 80 percent of the team is new, the most crucial player to this season's fortunes is out "indefinitely" with a "stress reaction," and no one knows if there will be gelling or tanking taking place in April. In the end it's about growth, not doubleyas anyway, but if you put a starter's pistol to my head I'll say 23. Trenton Hassell's old number.
College Wolf/Twolves Blog
Predicted record: 21-61
The Beginning of a new era starts this season for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Can this revamped roster come together as a team throughout the course of the season? Regardless of the team's success, it should be exciting for fans to see what these young guys can do.
Darren “Doogie” Wolfson/KFAN
Predicted record: 26-56
They are arguably the worst team in the conference, but will be fun to watch...the last 3 yrs, with KG, were awful. When does a MVP, in his prime, miss the playoffs 3 straight years? It finally appears they have a plan...get draft picks and target the summer of '09 or the summer of '10 to land a solid free agent or 2...but in regards to this season, they're just too young. This year is all about finding out what you have in Randy Foye and C. Brewer. Also, we have no evidence Randy Wittman can coach. I like Randy a lot, but his win-loss record is Dan Monson like.
Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune
Predicted record: 29-53
Now, I know the skeptics think this is the franchise pre-Kevin Garnett, back to the old lousy expansion days. I covered those days and remember them well -- Tod Murphy and Scott Branch, Adrian Branch and Randy Breuer and Myron Brown -- and this isn't, not nearly, expansion Timberwolves. There's talent there, a good bit of it, but it's going to take time. A lot of time.
Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune
Predicted record: 33-49
The Wolves will work harder than last season. They will rebound more and defend better. But, especially in light of Randy Foye's knee injury, is there enough game-in and game-out scoring? The Wolves will hustle themselves to 33 wins.
Predicted record: 24-58
They will be young, kind of short, will win 2-3 truly memorable games (remember how much fun it was when the terrible Wolves teams of old would conjure up a big win every once in a while?), will have about 9 different second-leading scorers in every 20-game span, will use 37 different starting lineups in an 82-game span and will surprisingly be more popular and in the news than either of the teams from the past couple of seasons.
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves official site
Predicted Record: 27-55
Predicting how many games the Wolves will win is a bit like trying to ascertain the number of days Lindsay Lohan will spend in rehab this year. You know she'll be there for a hot tick, but what if she does most of her damage inside locked doors? So, let's start with a range: 20-35 games. The fact is, there is enough talent on this team to produce legitimate NBA wins against good teams, particularly because Minnesota will often be taken lightly. In the West, who says Sacramento, Portland, Seattle or the L.A. Clips are any better? This pack of Wolves gets along really well, and is flat-out going to work hard every night. Plus, there are only three or four guys in the league that can produce on the low block like Jefferson ... But when teams double- and triple-team him in the fourth quarter, will the Wolves be able to score? Foye and McCants have shown flashes, but until we see it for a full season, let's go in the middle of our range: 27-55.
Predicted record: 28-54
Wolves finish fifth, but not by much, in the Northwest and likely will be last in the Western Conference, finishing just behind Seattle and possibly Sacramento. The Wolves may start slow and have a poor first half of the season but as the roster grows together into a cohesive unit the positive chemistry should help to galvinize the Wolves to a strong finish to 2007-2008. A 30 win season, while difficult to attain, could be the best case scenario if everything breaks right. We think they'll finish with 28 wins on the season.
Neil Olstad/Timberwolves Today
Predicted record: 24-58
While the national NBA media is shortsighted to have the Timberwolves as the absolute worst team in the league, they are not far off. This season will have its gruesome moments, but with a solid foundation for the future now in place, Wolves fans finally have something look forward to.
Revprodeji/RealGM Wolves forum
Predicted record: over/under is 29 wins
Anytime a team loses a player like KG and rebuilds with so many young parts only losing a handful more games than the previous year should be looked at as a success. The goal this year isnt to win games, but to test the young players with a trial by fire and find out who has what it takes to build around. In order to do this they will need shots, minutes, and fan support. It will be an exciting year as we set the ground work.
On a positive side, on paper we could catch fire and be in a playoff hunt if our young guys grow up fast and Whit does the coaching performance of his life.
Predicted record: 30-52
There is no doubt in my mind that Al Jefferson becomes a true 20-10 player this season and I really like the young nucleus around him. Randy Foye could be a star, he just needs minutes. Corey Brewer is a TO waiting to happen (for the other team) and Craig Smith is a beast among beasts.
Scott Henneboehle/Wolves Watch
Predicted record: 25-57
I think this season will say a lot about the direction of the team in the next couple of years. If some of the players they acquired in the KG deal pan out and can play in the NBA, we should have a decent nucleus to build the team around, but they don't develop into quality players, the team could be in even more dire trouble that it is right now.
All the basketball purists who like the idea of rebuilding might feel a little different about that come March and April, after suffering through the worst Wolves season since the days of Jack McCloskey, J.R. Rider, Stacey King, Marv & Harv and the smiling dog logo. Forget the problem at point guard for the moment; the most pressing question at 600 First Avenue is whether Minnesota has a better shot at the NBA's No. 1 pick next June by unloading Antoine Walker, or by playing him.
Tony Lang/Twolves Rube Nation
Predicted record: 27-55
The fact is KG is gone. It never worked out and it was time to move on. It might be a hard season to watch but this is the best time to become a Wolves fan because you get to see an entirely new young group of players come together and build for the future.
Predicted record: 22-60
With 2/3 of the roster new to Minnesota, this team will likely match last year's Grizzlies (12th in the league for offense, 30th for defense). It will be a great opportunity for the youngsters to sort themselves out, but it's going to be painful to watch most nights. With our beefed up frontcourt, though, McHale should get the marketing department to consider "We Bang" as part of the new campaign.
Thanks to all those who participated.no comments
I'm just happy to have it done, and am really looking forward to being here and getting the season started. It means a lot to me. When they made the trade, I thought that was the first step (in the organization) showing that they wanted (me and the other former Celtics) to come here. That let me know they had a lot of confidence in me right there. Then to get the deal done thirty minutes before the deadline just put it over the top. I'm really looking forward to it.