Big Al, Foye, McCants, and the season opens tonight.
The roller coaster just took off.
We embark on a season of uncertainty and potential, one judged not by overall record but whether the players live up to expectations and projections. Will Al get 20 a game? Can he rebound 12? Can the team give up less than a hundred points a game? If these goals are achieved, the record will speak for itself.
The truly fun thing about this season is that every pundit in the entire American basketball world has picked the Wolves to finish dead last in the league. I've seen predictions of as low as 15 wins. On the other side, there are only a handful of teams with guaranteed successful seasons looming (San Antonio, Dallas, Detroit, Phoenix, etc) Nearly every other team has a bunch of question marks, and their projected record is based on what might happen and what their fans expect. Even the Celtics, who were drastically improved by our deceased GM, still have a wholly incompetent coach running the show, and are liable to duck out in the first round to Orlando. Cleveland fans just hope to holy hell that they can get into the playoffs and have LeBron take over. That uncertainty, that awful feeling of being just good enough to run with the pack, is missing from this Wolves team.
Look, we can sit here and try to pretty this thing up, but the fact is that the Wolves are a pretty garbage team and the odds of them simply making the playoffs are almost a thousand to one. It's really never happened before - that a team this young and inexperienced has even had a winning record. So I'm not saying this as some sort of defense mechanism in order to convey a pessimist view. It's the honest truth. They're not good. I'm fully expecting a shellacking at the hands of the Nugs tonight.
But if Al scores 25 and grabs 13? I'm not going to be disappointed at all.