It’s still way too early to be disappointed in the Minnesota Timberwolves, who fell to 3-7 after losing to the Charlotte Hornets last night. Still, this is a team that came into the season riding a massive wave of hype—KAT and Wiggins are stars! Thibodeau is there to whip them into shape! Kris Dunn—but things just haven’t clicked yet, and veteran point guard Ricky Rubio is losing patience.
Here are some of Rubio’s postgame comments from last night:
Rubio’s impatience isn’t unwarranted. The team is performing just fine on the offensive end—they are scoring 112.3 points per 100 possessions, good for the fourth-best mark in the league—but the defense is something of a disaster. The T-Wolves are currently surrendering 110.5 points per 100 possessions, and opponents are shooting 48 percent from the field.
This is not exactly what Minnesota fans had in mind when Tom Thibodeau, long considered one of the NBA’s greatest defensive minds, was brought in to coach the team. Unsurprisingly, he shares Rubio’s concerns:
The strides that get a team from “young and full of potential” to “actually good” are never as short as they appear to be during the offseason, and the T-Wolves look to be in the thick of some growing pains. Nothing is going to stop Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins from ascending to stardom, but if they want to be more than great players on a mediocre team, that defense needs to be fixed up at some point.