The good news for the Timberwolves is that they've doubled their win total since the last time they faced the Mavericks on November 28. The bad news is that they only had two wins at that point, and now they have four, which makes them the worst team in the NBA. By far. The Mavericks have now beat them in six straight games, and there is no excuse for that streak to end tonight.
There's always a bright side
The Timberwolves may be 4-28 and have no hope of climbing out of that cellar this season, but on the bright side, Minnesota is finally on full-on rebuilding mode and no longer noodling along with Kevin Garnett and a team full of spares that have no hope of winning a title. Now, they're chock full of youngsters and well on their way to a top 4 draft selection next year. The seven players who have started 10 games or more average 2.2 years of NBA experience, and Marko Jaric's five years skew that upward quite a bit. The Timberwolves may not have gotten equal value for Garnett, but at least they finally got the guts to tear down the house and pour a new foundation instead of riding Garnett until the house burned down by itself. They'll be better off for it in the long run.
Jefferson playing like an All-Star
As the key piece in the Garnett trade, Al Jefferson is turning out to be one of the premier young big men in the league and is one of five players in the NBA currently averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. In fact, his overall numbers are top 15 in the league. But, since the T'Wolves are so stinky, he probably may not find his way to the All-Star team through a crowded field of West forwards. If he can keep it up next season, he should find his way onto the team, but waiting your turn is just a part of development. Hey Al, you and Chris Kaman can cry together about how you got snubbed.
The other 6
Outside of Jefferson, it seems to be a nightly rotation of six players who step up and tries to get that elusive fifth win for Minnesota. Rashad McCants, Craig Smith, Ryan Gomes, Antoine Walker, Sebastian Telfair and Marko Jaric have all had impact throughout the season. Lately, Gomes has been the man and has averaged 14 points and 10.7 rebounds in his last three games with a 17-point, 15-rebound performance against the Clippers on New Year's Eve. We'll see which of these six guys steps up tonight to try and break that seven-game losing streak.
Random useless fact
Minnesota's assistant general managers are Fred Hoiberg (former T'Wolves three-point specialist) and Rob Babcock (the guys who ruined the Toronto Raptors as GM for two years).
-Scooter Hendon, Hoops Nerd