With all the hype surrounding an inexperienced franchise, it is easy for lofty expectations to turn into embarrassing failure. Here are the things that need to happen in order for the Wolves to be successful.
- Andrew Wiggins needs to take the next step on defense.
For a guy who is 6’8, has a wingspan of 7’0, and can jump higher than most anybody in the league, you’d expect him to grab more than four rebounds a game. While the former number one overall pick has turned into a perennial 20 ppg scorer, the “bust” label is still closely attached. His defense is also inexcusably horrendous for a man with such athleticism. He ranked 68th out of 70 qualifying small forwards in defensive efficiency. Yikes, come on man. If Wiggins can become at least average on the defensive end, the Wolves will be ecstatic.
2. Jimmy Butler needs to embrace the mentor/leader role.
On veteran starved team like the Wolves, Jimmy Butler is in line to be the unquestioned leader. After recent comments from ex Bulls teammate Antoine Walker in regards to his “selfish” demeanor, Butler needs to prove he can handle leadership responsibilities both on and off the court. He will also be tasked with helping turn around a defense that ranked near the bottom in almost every category last season. If the Wolves want to make any sort improvement, it starts with Jimmy Buckets.
3. Karl-Anthony Towns needs to be an All-NBA player.
KAT has to continue his path to super-stardom. Offensively, he has proven to be a basketball revolutionary. At 7’0, 244lbs he physically imposes his will on anyone who dares to body him up on the block. His post moves are as polished as any big in the NBA, he hits 80% of his free throws, has dribbling abilities of a guard, and his three pointer has become increasingly reliable. Oh yeah, and he just turned 21 this year. If he can continue to be the most versatile big in the league while becoming a respectable rim protector on defense, the Wolves will be in great shape.