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NBA / Oct 23, 2009 / 10:00 am

Minnesota Timberwolves ’09-10 NBA season preview

Jonny Flynn

Jonny Flynn

Last year we debuted the “Highs and Lows” system — previewing the NBA season by predicting the respective ceiling and basement for each team. Same theme, different season…

Added: Jonny Flynn, Ramon Sessions, Wayne Ellington, Ryan Hollins, Damien Wilkins, Sasha Pavlovic, Antonio Daniels, Oleksiy Pecherov, Jason Hart, Nathan Jawai, Mark Blount, Henk Norel

Lost: Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith, Rodney Carney, Mark Madsen, Kevin Ollie, Jason Collins, Shelden Williams, Bobby Brown

Ceiling: 30-35 wins, 10th in the West
It all starts with Al Jefferson, one of the League’s few 20-point, 10-rebound locks and a likely All-Star no matter how bad the Wolves might be. (Thanks to Yao‘s bad foot and Shaq‘s new address, a spot or two has opened up in the West.) Jefferson is flanked by another double-double machine in Kevin Love, and while he isn’t the scorer Jefferson is, Love is a stud offensive rebounder, and his legendary outlet passes will buy some easy buckets for athletic flyers like Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer and Wayne Ellington … Flynn will have every opportunity to succeed; he’s looked good in the summer league and the preseason. And if the rookie stumbles, Ramon Sessions is there as a solid backup who could start on a few teams … First-year head coach Kurt Rambis comes from quality stock, having been mentored by and working with some of the best players and coaches in the business. With a dominant big man, a skilled rebounding sidekick, and a young PG with star potential at his disposal, as well as some other decent athletes in the mix, Rambis might be able to do something here.

Basement: Another chance to blow a Top-5 pick
The ratio of games Minnesota will win this season versus the number of days they were in the news this offseason was way out of proportion. And the messed up part is that the guys who made most of those headlines — ex-coach Kevin McHale, GM David Kahn, and someday-PG Ricky Rubio — won’t be doing much of anything to help the Wolves get whatever W’s they do manage … K-Love is out until December with a broken hand, and Jefferson will start the season at less than 100 percent thanks to the knee injury he suffered eight months ago … If Brewer doesn’t pan out as the starting two-guard (he’s on the brink of being a draft bust), Rambis might be forced to go with a small backcourt of Flynn and Sessions, which would lead to a lot of nights where they Wolves get lit up defensively … After looking like a possible starter in the summer league, when he hit 52 percent from three-point range, Wayne Ellington has been in a slump this preseason … Ryan Gomes is a solid player at the three, but there are a lot of other guys in the rotation who probably shouldn’t even be in the NBA. (I’m looking at you, Brian Cardinal.)

*** *** ***

10/22 — Utah Jazz
10/22 — Orlando Magic
10/22 — Phoenix Suns
10/21 — Charlotte Bobcats
10/21 — San Antonio Spurs
10/21 — Miami Heat
10/19 — Oklahoma City Thunder
10/19 — Milwaukee Bucks
10/15 — Portland Trail Blazers
10/14 — Chicago Bulls
10/13 — Golden State Warriors
10/12 — Toronto Raptors
10/9 — Houston Rockets
10/8 — Detroit Pistons
10/7 — Memphis Grizzlies
10/6 — New York Knicks
10/5 — New Orleans Hornets
10/2 — Atlanta Hawks
9/30 — Sacramento Kings
9/29 — New Jersey Nets
9/28 — Denver Nuggets

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  • Ross

    Damn, did their whole team change?

  • control

    Wow, lost 10 players and got 13…and with all of that turnover they look like ass on paper, and will probably smell like ass on the court. Excellent GMing skills…