Timberwolves Impressing In Preseason
October 18, 2010, 10:36 PM
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Last season was a new low for the Minnesota Timberwolves, as they tied the franchise record for futility with only 15 wins. And while there's always been a semblance of national criticism for the Wolves rebuilding project, the feeling around the team this year is different. And the youngest roster in the NBA is starting to think like veterans.
After Sunday night's 114-109 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in Sioux Falls, the Timberwolves now sport a 5-1 record in the preseason. And while exhibition games don't count in the standings, these young pups have a different attitude.
"Treat it like a regular season game," Wolves forward Michael Beasley said. "Don't be like most teams and I'm not knocking anybody, but most teams treat preseason just like warmups, you know, play 18 minutes and then just sit down. We don't, we approach every game like it's the last game of our lives."
That approach will be critical if this Wolves team wants to grow. Nine new players join a roster that's been in constant flux since Kevin Garnett was traded in 2007. And taking preseason games seriously has undoubtedly helped their chemistry.
"The character of our guys, the enthusiasm of our guys, how well they get along and pull for each other, all of those are positive things," Wolves head coach Kurt Rambis said. "We're getting good production from our starters and good production from our guys coming off the bench. So, I'm excited for this team."
"We have a really young group, but a group that wants to get a lot better and is very competitive," Wolves forward Kevin Love added. "So, I think it makes us better as a whole and allows us to be on the same page heading into the season."
But if anyone knows the value of patience, it's Love. The 3rd year pro will now get a chance to be Minnesota's starting power forward after Al Jefferson was traded this summer. And while he's tired of the constant rebuilding, it's clear he believes this team can handle it better.
"We know throughout the season, sometimes we'll have down moments," Love said. "And, you know, it might not always show in wins and losses, but we just want to come together as a group and get better from here on out."
Minnesota wraps up their preseason with two games this week against Indiana and Milwaukee, before the regular season tips off October 27 against the Sacramento Kings.
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