Minnesota Timberwolves fans often don’t celebrate when playoff time comes around. And why should they? Their team has not found their way into the playoffs in 13 seasons, but this year, that might all change.

The Timberwolves are bursting with young talent. With the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Tyus Jones, plus the new additions of Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Jamal Crawford, and Taj Gibson, it seems like the perfect fit, right? Head coach Tom Thibodeau and the rest of the organization seem to think so, being that they aggressively hunted for their new players. This lineup is impressive and, no doubt, is built to try to compete in the cut-throat world that is the Western Conference.

During the regular season, Minnesota often play a great first half in any given game, but the second half is were they lose their rhythm. In the 2016-2017 NBA regular season, the Timberwolves were ranked in the top five in first half point differential, despite them ranking almost dead last in the second half. From the team’s shooting to their poor defense, lots of factors can be to blame for their second half let downs, but coach Thibodeau seems to have found a solution to the team’s struggles.

Jimmy Butler has been named to the NBA‘s All-Defense team three times in his six-year NBA career, which should be music to Timberwolves fans’ ears, but he can do more than just defend. Butler averaged about 24 points per game with 5.5 assists in 37 minutes in a Bulls jersey. Combined with experienced guard Crawford and scoring machine Towns as well as other elite starters and bench players, this team should put up quite a fight against the powerhouse teams of the West.

The Timberwolves have made a name for themselves this offseason and have given their fans a reason to be excited for the upcoming year. They have created an impressive lineup that is sure to be hard to beat, especially when they are playing at a high level. They should take care of business and end up in either the fifth or sixth spot in the playoffs and may squeeze past the first round, but will go no further.

This outcome is certainly dependent on the team’s ability to work with each other, but Minnesota’s head coach and the rest of the organization seems to feel confident in their ability to do so. Overall, fans should be excited about this team and its future, with the real question being, is this the beginning of a new Western Conference powerhouse team?

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