- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The pressure is on the Timberwolves, and it's being applied not just by fans frustrated with an eight-year playoff drought. After a 26--40 finish last season, franchise centerpiece and two-time All-Star Kevin Love publicly implored much-maligned G.M. David Kahn to improve the roster. The message from Love got through, though Kahn took some questionable risks, bringing small forward Andrei Kirilenko back from Russia on a two-year, $20 million deal and bringing guard Brandon Roy out of retirement for $10.4 million over two years after his knees failed him in Portland.
Whether the team is still playing in late April will depend on how quickly Love (who broke his right hand last week) and sensational second-year point guard Ricky Rubio (who tore his left ACL last March) return. After starting 21--20 last year, Minnesota lost 20 of 25 without Rubio. Both are expected back by December at the earliest—not too late, they hope, for the playoff push.
COACH: Rick Adelman (2nd season with T-Wolves)
2011--12 RECORD: 26--40 (5th in Northwest)
OFFENSE: 97.9 ppg (10th)
DEFENSE: 100.1 ppg (25th)
PICK-AND-ROLL OFFENSE: 28.7 ppg (3rd)
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]