The Timberwolves brought in a new head coach over the winter in Rick Adelman and he has gotten his team to play at a much higher level so far this year. They are 17-17 on the year right now which has them in 4th place in the Northwest Division, 10 games behind the Thunder. The T-Wolves are #10 in the Western Conference but they are only 1 game behind the Trailblazers for the #8 spot in the playoffs. Here is a look at the players who made the biggest impact in my opinion so far this year:
Team MVP: Kevin Love: 23-year old power forward Kevin Love is turning in another outstanding year for the T-Wolves. He has played in 32 games (all starts) and he is averaging 39.9 minutes, 25.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steal per game. Love is by far the best player on the Timberwolves and I expect him to lead the T-Wolves into the playoffs in 2011-12.
Biggest Surprise: Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio: 26-year old center Nikola Pekovic played in 25 games (14 starts) for the T-Wolves in the first half of the season and he is averaging 24.4 minutes, 12.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game so far this year. He has taken full advantage of Darko Milicic’s injury early this year. 21-year old rookie point guard Ricky Rubio is only shooting 37.5% from the floor so far this year but he makes things happen. He has played in 34 games (24 starts) for the T-Wolves so far this year and he is averaging 34.9 minutes, 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game. The T-Wolves need Rubio and Pekovic to keep up the good work in the second half of the year.
Biggest Disappointment: Wesley Johnson: 24-year old shooting guard Wesley Johnson has been a big time disappointment for the T-Wolves so far this year. Johnson has played in 33 games (32 starts) for the T-Wolves so far this year and he is averaging 22.0 minutes, 5.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game. Johnson is only shooting 38% from the floor, 21.7% from three point range and 63.2% from the free throw line so far this year and that’s pathetic for a shooting guard.