In the heat of a battle for playoff position earlier this regular season, there was talk about whether or not it would be worth making the playoffs as the 8 seed to face the Houston Rockets. The argument was, would it be worth (probably) getting swept by the NBA’s best regular season team while losing a extra first round pick in the 2018 draft?
As we know, the Wolves won game 3 so the sweep was avoided. But, just because a 5th game was forced doesn’t necessarily mean this season was a success. In order to label it as a success, we need to see growth from our two cornerstones in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. In a surprising turn of events, Wiggins has been our best player in the series and has shown that he flourishes in the national spotlight. Meanwhile, Towns struggled in games 1 and 2.
Game 3 was the most promising game I have seen all season. The entire team was firing on all cylinders which eventually led to the 14 point victory over the Rockets in front of an electric Target Center. Hopefully the momentum carries into tonight’s contest.
Unless a miracle happens, the Wolves will fall to the Rockets in this series. We all know that the year of playoff success wasn’t supposed to be this year necessarily, although we have seen that the process can be expedited. (ex. Philadelphia) But, this playoff experience has shown to be worthy of tremendous value to the young Wolves on the roster. They are taking on the best team in the NBA and are giving them a fight in what should be an easy first round for the 1 seed. Towns and Wiggins are getting that first dose of what they were brought to Minnesota for.
Jimmy Butler and the other veterans have been a great luxury to influence the young guys on the roster. They have the playoff experience to take this franchise to a level we haven’t seen since Kevin Garnett. As long as we maintain this level of play into next season, then this experience will be invaluable. Hopefully, the Timberwolves will be primed for a deep playoff run in the 2 years following this season but for now, the first step was to get Wiggins and Towns their first taste of playoff basketball.
photo credit twincities.com