It’s time. The time to close the page on the 2010s, and therefore to close the page on ten years of NBA and more or less deeply rooted, more or less legendary memories. There are those who will still be remembered in fifty years and those who will disappear at the rate of the exploits of our contemporary generation, but today and with a whole new look on these last ten years, we thus had fun to… decide in Sightings. Place today Wolves past a shot from Nikola Jokic to have lived a decade without the slightest Playoffs match.
Classifying the thirty franchises of the League, from 1 to 30 it goes without saying, taking into account both regular season victories and individual trophies, the spring charts or stars spent in town. Difficult exercise, oh so much discussed and obviously still debatable, but which will at least have the merit of being asked. Subjective exercise also, which takes into account the figures but also feelings, and that you will therefore be asked to respect or to discuss, only and only if you make the effort, like us, to rack your brains a little and to take a look behind your shoulder, at these ten years of NBA which contemplate us.
- Seasons taken into account: from 2009/10 to 2018/19
- Criteria studied: regular season wins, record in Playoffs, number of All-Stars and individual trophies
- Objectivity: that of NBA fans
We set off right away for the refreshing plains of Minnesota to discover that Kevin Garnett’s legacy… is complicated. Some big players out of the Wolves mold but disappointing and / or ridiculous collective results, in short this decade was very long for the fanbase of the pack of Wolves the less aggressive of the continent.
Regular record: 288 wins – 516 defeats
Three seasons at 15, 16 and 17 wins, that’s not to forget that Wolves have been VERY bad for ten years. 26, 29 and twice 31, that’s the logical outcome of a team looking for itself, between training of young shoots and the desire to win a few games from time to time. 36 in 2019, 40 in 2014, wow we are getting closer to a moderately average franchise and… hallelujah, the 2017-18 season which comes to save appearances and offer this magnificent 28th place to Minnesota. 47 wins, a Jimmy Butler who fucked up incredible shit but who might have been the only player of the decade who could believe Wolves could win. Having started as quickly as he arrived, Buckets will leave behind a young and rather inexperienced team, who have been waiting patiently for another season in the positive. It’s not all that easy, not easy.
The playoff record: a defeat in the first round (2018)
A qualification in 2018 played in the final game, bit of a final possession against the Nuggets still too fresh. Immense and logical joy in Minnesota, first Playoffs since… 2004 and a series of eight consecutive postseasons during the Garnett era, but unfortunately a complicated match-up against the Rockets. Clint Capela takes Karl-Anthony Towns for a bar of chocolate, James Harden is obviously too strong and the case will be tied up in five small games. No problem, the Wolves are in the Playoffs and we will be able to continue the following season. Oops, well no, soft belly, we’re going back.
- Trois All-Stars : Kevin Love (3), Karl-Anthony Towns (2), Jimmy Butler (1)
- 2 ROY (Andrew Wiggins, 2015, et Karl-Anthony Towns, 2016)
- 1 MIP (Kevin Love, 2011)
Honor as often to our favorite zinzins, and let us remember that some funny phenomena passed, sometimes surreptitiously, by Minneapolis. We can for example quote the pride of the West Indies Mickael Gélabale and Ronny Turiaf, long live the weed, or the heroes that are Anthony Bennett, Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson, Darko Milicic, Jonny Flynn or Derrick Williams. Aaah, the Wolves and the Draft, what a great story. Ah well, we do not forget either the two red-haired help Greg “Reverchon” Stiemsma and Chase Budinger or the lightning passages of Andrei Kirilenko, Brandon Roy, Tayshaun Prince, Mo Williams, Jamal Crawford or… Kevin Garnett, returned close definitely the page in the middle of the decade. Big-up also to Team Timberbulls with Taj Gibson, Luol Deng, Tom Thibodeau, Jimmy Butler and especially a Derrick Rose transfigured in 2018-19, to soldiers Brewer, Barea, Covington, Pekovic, Dieng, Tolliver, Saric, Teague, to quick passages of a young Thaddeus Young, a Big Al on the end, a promising Muhammad and the promises of the Okogie / Culver toddler duo. But honor to finish with our starting five made in redac, with in our opinion four untouchables and a small wild card. The two big K’s inside it obviously does not move, the little Ricky at the lead who will have done what he could, an Andrew Wiggins who is part of the history of his franchise and the poste 2… Zach LaVine, only three full seasons with Minny but then offering a rather unique combo of promises / frustration, not to mention obviously the memories left during his victories in the Slam Dunk Contest.
Major Five of the Decade: Ricky Rubio –
Jimmy Butler – Zach LaVine – Andrew Wiggins – Kevin Love – Karl-Anthony Towns
The editor’s memory
It’s December 2015, and Kevin Garnett is finishing one of the finest books in our recent NBA history. Back to come full circle in his beloved Minnesota, more to participate than anything else but that is not the question, KG will offer himself that evening his last great memory “in the field”. Wolves – Clippers, balanced match against the gang to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Then everything accelerates. Zach LaVine and KG precisely push JJ Redick to the fault, Ricky Rubio watches and intercepts, launches the counter-attack against a Blake Griffin finding himself alone to defend. As a real smuggler Ricky sees the Garnett mummy arrive in a trailer, which rises – a little – and violently – a little – posteriorizes Blake Griffin, the redhead finding himself once on the wrong side of the poster. The crowd is incredulous, a bit as if Brigitte Bardot had just stung Rihanna’s guy, and Kevinou proves that night that he hasn’t lost any of his savagery, even with foam knees …
The current form
Well, it’s pretty… not bad actually. We saw a little bad start for this season called – again – of transition, but Karl-Anthony Towns is as expected monstrous, Andrew Wiggins is as not expected very very good, and it is even the whole group of a Ryan Saunders more and more seasoned who taps in the same direction. The soldiers Covington, Dieng or Teague do the job, the young Okogie or Culver grow up quickly and on arrival the results are positive (9-8) on December 4. Who would’ve believed that ? Frankly not many people. To be confirmed even if we know the hardness of a season in the West, but in any case the displayed state of mind is pleasing to see and that is already very good news after all these complicated seasons lived for… fifteen years.
The projection for the decade 2020
Rather positive. Indeed, the star duo – if they do not move in the coming seasons – may very well aspire to take a franchise in Playoffs and more if affinities. Affinities? It will be the expected progression of Jarrett Culver, that of Josh Okogie too, and a front office that makes the right choices both at the Free Agency and in prospecting future NBAers. Anyway, today the Wolves have in Karl-Anthony Towns a real weapon of mass destruction and not everyone can say the same, so the leaders of Minny not to be wrong and especially well the surround, just to avoid making a third interior in jaded K and / or having to look elsewhere to win.
We remain in the bottom of the League so with this franchise of Wolves and its five Playoffs games in ten years. Today eighth in the West, the Wolves are smiling again, but it will take a lot more to make people forget a decade (and a half) of virtual scarcity in April.