Tom Thibodeau is done waiting on the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Sure, they wrapped 2016-17 as the NBA’s youngest team. And yes, their two most important players, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, still get carded when buying scratch-off lotto tickets. And no, preseason letdowns aren’t supposed to send head coaches into a tizzy.
But Thibs is mad anyway.
Consider what he said following Minnesota’s 142-110 preseason loss at the hands of the reigning-champion Golden State Warriors:
Strong line from Wolves' Tom Thibodeau: "If you’re waiting on potential, you’re waiting on losing. We can’t wait on potential any longer."
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) October 8, 2017
After signing Jeff Teague and trading for Jimmy Butler, Thibodeau should absolutely expect more than a 31-win ceiling from his squad. But the Timberwolves’ ancillary moves weren’t actually that good. Signing Jamal Crawford is whatever, and Taj Gibson is woefully overpriced at $14 million per year. The Timberwolves needed proven frontcourt spacers to play with Towns and didn’t get them. They also needed to shore up the backup point guard position, but they again didn’t. They look like a better defensive team than last season on paper, but their switchability up front is wafer thin, if nonexistent, and they have virtually no wing depth on the less glamorous end after Butler.
Anyone who expects them to win 50 games should pump the brakes. This team is all but guaranteed a spot in the playoff race, but they’re not assured of much more than that initial chase.