The Minnesota Timberwolves are in the throes of change, but it remains to be seen whether their fortunes will turn for the better. After a terrific rookie season from Karl-Anthony Towns, the Timberwolves installed Tom Thibodeau, former architect of league-leading defenses for the Chicago Bulls, as head coach and team president.
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota’s rookie sensation of several years ago, is hoping that Thibodeau brings swift improvement, because he’s sick of missing out on the postseason. “It’s very tough mentally when year after year that target is not met,” he said on Spanish radio program Catalunya Vespre.
“I’ve been in the NBA for five years and six years without playoffs would be a long time. At 26, I’d have to start thinking about teams that can win in the Finals.”
Towns makes for the second consecutive Rookie of the Year award for Minnesota, after Andrew Wiggins claimed that title in 2015. With Thibodeau at the helm after a late-season surge from the Wolves, there’s almost no doubt that the 2016-17 season will see this team on the up and up. The question, apparently, is whether they can become contenders quickly enough to maintain their hyper-creative point guard’s interest. Rubio wants to win soon. Will he do it in Minnesota?