What Can The Minnesota Timberwolves Learn From Their NBA Playoffs Experience?

Photo Credit: Nick Wosika – USA TODAY Sports


Ultimately, the 2022/23 season ended in disappointment for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but there are many positives to take from this campaign. Head Coach Chris Finch and his men can be proud of their achievements this term, and there are a number of plus points to take into 2023/24 and beyond.

Naturally, Minnesota will want to improve and go even deeper next time around. To do that, the coaching staff will need to assess what went right and where they need to strengthen in the off season.


The Story So Far

After 82 games of another grueling regular season, the Timberwolves finished in second place in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. The team won 42 and lost 40 of their ties overall to claim the runners up slot behind divisional winners the Denver Nuggets.

While the results failed to improve on a 46-36 return from last term, it was enough to get Minnesota into the play-in tournament. They beat the Oklahoma City Thunder by the wide margin of 120-95 to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

The early DraftKings odds for the NBA Championship placed the team among the underdogs and a tough draw saw the Timberwolves up against their divisional rivals the Denver Nuggets. It would prove to be a step too far, as Denver breezed through the playoff game with a 4-1 scoreline.

The Nuggets advanced while, for the Minnesota Timberwolves, it was time to reflect on a positive campaign and to learn from the playoff experience. It’s an opportunity to regroup and to work out what happens next.


The Key Performers

While each member of the Minnesota roster contributed to a positive season, there were some standout performers. At the top of the scoring list was shooting guard Anthony Edwards who finished the campaign with a healthy return of 24.6 Points Per Game.

At the age of just 21, the player nicknamed the Ant Man is a very special talent and one that should help to keep the Timberwolves moving forward. Edwards also ranked strongly for additional key stats including assists and rebounds.


Areas of Strength

Many feel that Minnesota has the best roster of young talent in the entire NBA. Edwards was an important figure this season, and it’s impressive to see him carrying the shooting burden at the age of just 21.

The Ant Man was supported by many younger colleagues, but the team may lack experience. With an offseason approaching, this is an area that Minnesota needs to address. 

There was some debate as to whether the Minnesota Timberwolves could compete this year but a late rally got the team into the playoffs. It was an impressive return for such a young team, but there is always a desire to go further. That leaves the key question as to where the Timberwolves need to improve if they are to move deeper into the playoffs in 2024.


Where to Improve

While there were clear positives, head coach Finch will also be aware of some deficiencies in the team this season. While Anthony Edwards returned those promising stats, there was little in the way of scoring back up.

Behind the leading points scorer, Karl-Anthony Towns was in second place with an average of 20.8 points per game. Once again, that’s a relatively healthy return, but it doesn’t quite match the records of the overall leading NBA scorers.

While there may be issues elsewhere, points win games and there needs to be a scoring improvement throughout the roster.

Ahead of the current season, coach Finch said that he was looking to focus on internal development. The ploy has worked to an extent, but it may well be time to look at more developed external reinforcements next time around. The Timberwolves need a solid draft, while looking for some valuable trades as they make their offseason plans.


Targets for 2023/24

When the new NBA season begins later this year, the minimum target for the Timberwolves will be to claim another place in the Playoffs. The desire will be to build on the experience from this campaign and to go further than that first playoff game.

There are a number of factors required if this Minnesota team is to get beyond the first playoff round next time. Firstly, those key performers from the current season will need to stay at the top of their game.

It’s a lot to expect of a young players such as Anthony Edwards to carry the team, so he will need greater back up from his teammates. At the same time, the Timberwolves will need to pick wisely in the draft, while negotiating some key offseason trades.

There have been those positive moments, but there is work to be done if the Minnesota Timberwolves are to build on this season’s performances. 

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