Doc Rivers calls Timberwolves ‘team of the future in the West’


Doc Rivers rates the Minnesota Timberwolves so highly that he thinks they are ‘the team of the future’ in the Western Conference.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are a dead average 8-8 right now and sit at 7th place in the Western Conference. It doesn’t sound that impressive to the casual NBA fan, but after they recorded a league-worst 16 wins during the entirety of last season it’s incredibly impressive that they’ve reached half that total just a month into the season.

The arrival of Karl-Anthony Towns is largely responsible for that, as he’s easily one of the most NBA-ready prospects from this year’s draft. His plays likes someone who’s been a professional for a few years rather than just a few weeks, and it’s resulted in him averaging 14.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game so far.

There’s plenty of other talent to be excited about, though.

It has Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers acknowledging their potential too, as he’s called them the future of the West already.

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The team of the future in the West is high praise. The Oklahoma City Thunder are contending for years if Kevin Durant doesn’t leave, the San Antonio Spurs have an improved Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge to build around when others retire, and the Golden State Warriors are only just getting started.

However, with such a young core that continues to improve, the Timberwolves are approaching their prime. As for other teams, anything can happen when free agency strikes. Minnesota are a few years from reaching an elite level if they add the correct pieces, and in that time countless things could happen to shake up the rest of the conference. Others teams who are contending right now may fall in that time, while the Timberwolves are most certainly on the rise.

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Also as Doc said, Kevin Garnett is doing a great job taking the young players under his wing and sharing some championship-winning wisdom during their early years. Specifically, he’s been most helpful to Towns. As fellow big men, there’s plenty of tips and tricks the rookie center can learn from a great like Garnett. Whether it’s footwork in the post or how to read certain offensive sets of opponents when protecting the paint, he can help the young guys in those aspects. Not to mention, his overall presence as a leader to help keep them grounded and play with the right attitude is vital as well.

Andrew Wiggins has upped his game with 21.8 points per game, Zach LaVine is shooting better and has career-highs across the board, Ricky Rubio is passing well as usual with a slightly improved mid-range shot, and the Timberwolves are set to best their mark of 16 wins from last season by a mile this year.

It’s only a matter of time until they’re competing with the best the West has to offer.