Time for Timberwolves to decide who they want to be – Twin Cities

As the Timberwolves prepare to come out of their NBA all-star break, let’s take a moment to take a look at the last thing they have left for us.

On the second night of a straight streak, the Timberwolves lost to Fred VanVleet, the Toronto Raptors at Target Center. Nothing wrong with that. Minnesota had just won an overtime thriller over Charlotte the night before. Apparently Anthony Edwards has been busted. The men were tired. It’s been called pretty much an accepted loss – by everyone who changed his name Patrick Beverly.

The veteran guard was upset.

“I am disappointed with losing tonight. Really frustrated,” Beverley said. “Any game I play, I want to win at a high level all the time. It’s a very bad loss for me.”

At the end of the day, it’s all about expectations. If the Timberwolves are who they say they want to be, they should aim to beat Toronto at home, especially when the Raptors are without their best player. Even in your back to back, a game that involves no travel between games. Wolves’ uninspiring loss came on the same night that Denver took down the road to defeat the Golden State Mighty with a last-second shot.

This isn’t about a single loss from last week, but instead sets the team’s benchmark for moving forward in the final third of the regular season. This season, Wolves have been talking about wanting to slip into the top six in the Western Conference to avoid the playoff round and go straight to the playoffs.

Now is the time to take action back up the words.

We’re past the point of admiration when Minnesota beat bad teams or are seriously injured, as they are supposed to. It is no longer sufficient to simply give the best league teams a solid test before safely withdrawing.

If the Timberwolves (31-28) really want to make up for the three games in the loss column they are currently behind Denver (33-25), or the four losses they are tracking Dallas (35-24), they’ll need to be exceptional. It might take a 15-8 or even 16-7 to finish the regular season to have a chance – and even that might not be enough. But even if that wasn’t enough, this kind of finish at least would put Wolves in a strong position to not only advance through play but give Golden State or Phoenix a real fight when reaching the first round of playoffs.

But such a regular season termination is a daunting task for a team that starts four games against Memphis, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Golden State on the spot. Three losses outside the gate will make the climb even steeper. So the wolves should think about their need to win at least two, if not three. Three of the games are in the house, anyway. Yes, opponents are great. But wolves seem to think so, too.

Be exceptional.

Instead of being happy with what has been achieved so far, wolves now have to strive for greater heights. Beverly noted that the most important thing wolves must fight to move forward is complacency.

“We’re in a situation where a lot of people have never been on this team,” Beverly said. “Success also comes with good and bad. So, we’re in a playoff, and we’ve been successful, winning a lot of games. It’s good and bad too. We just don’t want to be complacent and settle down. Obviously we’re only the seventh seed. We want to catch Denver.” We want to catch Dallas. We want to catch these teams. And in order to do that, we have to play consistently offensively and defensively.”

And they have to win a lot of matches – even in the face of intense competition, even in the face of their backs and backs, even when they’re not 100%. That’s how you grow, that’s how you earn.

With all of that on the table, Minnesota is now deciding which team it wants the rest of the season to be — a team satisfied with what it’s accomplished, or a team already motivated to achieve more.

This answer can reveal a lot about who this team could become in the following years.