Minnesota Timberwolves Betting Articles: 2006 Early Season Analysis

All the game items two years ago he talked about the resilience of the Minnesota Timberwolves and how they had an incredible 70%+ against the differential (ATS) of a loss. With personal problems last year, they lacked resilience. Changes were made this season to put them back on top.

With the NBA in its six-division lineup, the Timberwolves have an easy ride to the playoffs. Easy if the chemistry doesn’t bind them like it did last year. So Kevin McHale got rid of Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell, he hired Sonics assistant Dwayne Casey to be the head coach and gave Marko Jaric control of PG. Everything has worked perfectly so far; the Timberwolves are reaping the rewards with their 12-6 record. Can you hold on?

Many players are playing very well and better than last year, mainly Kevin Garnett, whose 22.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 4.8 APG make him an MVP candidate. Szczerbiak is scoring 17.4 from last year’s 15.5, Hudson is up to 12.4 from last year’s 8.7 and even Michael Olowakandi is scoring more at 7.6 per game. Both went to Sprewell and Cassell last year, who posted a meager combined 25.7 PPG last year.

The biggest need for improvement so far is Marko Jaric, who is producing 10.2 PPG, but is helped by Garnett. His two draft picks, G Bracey Wright and C Dwayne Jones, have developed so slowly that they became the first NBA players to be sent to their NBA D-League affiliate. KG isn’t getting much help on the glass; even though he is rebounding in double figures, the T’Wolves rank 28th in the league in rebounding. For whatever reason, Minnesota felt compelled to give Nikoloz Tskitishvili a contract and now he’s asking to be traded since coach Casey hasn’t played him once this year.

The team is producing and playing better than it was last year when Cassell and Sprewell hamstrung the team to the ground. Jaric isn’t getting as many assists as he should, but at least he’s taking care of the ball with the Wolves giving up just 13.1 times a game. Casey has brought a much better defense than last year when they allowed a lackluster 95.3 PPG. This year they are third in points allowed, forcing their opponent to just 91.2 points per game.

The Wolves trust Kevin Garnett a lot. If he gets hurt or traded later in the year, he can knock Minnesota out of the postseason. They’re not particularly deep at any position, especially Center. But Minnesota is playing a fluid, controlled game that they just didn’t produce last year. Portland, Seattle, Utah and Denver have been last-place playoff teams at best for the past several years. We know Minnesota can make the playoffs since a similar version of this team won the No. 1 spot two years ago. We don’t know if they can do it without Sprewell and Cassell. However, they are playing substantially better now than at any time last year. If it continues, it’s an easy playoff team.

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