When Tom Thibodeau was named the head coach of the Timberwolves, many fans were excited. Now, those who have been patient through the team's slow start might be starting to notice the turnaround of the Wolves.
Coming into Monday's game with Orlando, the Wolves had won 4 of 5, and talk about the playoffs – which once seemed laughable – doesn't seem so far out of reach anymore.
ESPN has definitely noticed Minnesota is trending up. In fact, ESPN's Marc Stein's NBA Power Rankings has the young Wolves all the way up to No. 17 this week.
Here is what he had to say:
"Just because it has been a few days now, let's not gloss over the Andrew Wiggins buzzer-beater that toppled Phoenix by a point early last week. The 21-year-old not only became the first Wolves player to sink a game winner at the horn since Luke Ridnour in February 2012; Wiggins' wing dagger delivered Minnesota's third successive win in a one-possession game. Which makes us wonder again: Are they finally cured of close-game-itis? Karl-Anthony Towns, meanwhile, will become the first All-Star snubee since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1977-78 to average at least 22 points and 12 boards if he can maintain those levels for the entire season."
At 18-29, the Wolves come into Monday night's game with Orlando just 2.5 games out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Denver currently holds the No. 8 spot at 21-25, and there are still many teams in contention. But with their young core, a coach with a history of winning, and a trend pointing upwards – the Wolves still may yet have a shot at snapping that 12-year playoff drought.