Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Timberwolves concluded their 2016-17 season on Wednesday night in Houston, when they fell to the Rockets in the season finale.
For the Wolves, it wrapped up a 31-51 season under first-year head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau.
“I wish we could keep going. I know there is a lot of work for us to do, we are looking forward to it,” Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I can’t wait to get going (with the offseason).”
The season was one that was filled with ups and downs for many on the Wolves’ roster, but all in all there was a lot that the team could take out of this season.
“I came in with eyes wide open. With studying the numbers from last year, I knew where the team was. I knew the most important thing was to build a foundation and for Andrew (Wiggins) and Karl(-Anthony Towns) to develop a voice,” Thibodeau said. “As your best players, you want them to lead and set the tone. I think the best thing for us was to take the long view. We probably could have added some different kinds of players, but I think this was the best plan for us.”
Highlights of the season, to name just a few, included improvements and strides made by numerous Wolves players, as well as getting key wins over the likes of playoffs teams such as the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards. The Wolves also continued to build off of last year to eventually pass last year’s win total.
“We’ve got to work. We have to work together to get better,” Andrew Wiggins said. “We beat a lot of good teams but we have to make it consistent, we can’t beat the good teams and lose to the teams that aren’t as good. We have to stay consistent and try to be the best team we can be. We were a lot better later on in the season than early in the season on not losing our leads.”
With the end of the season comes time to reflect on the season that has passed and looking forward to what needs to be done in the future – a future that is exciting for many different reasons.
“We have a lot of things we have to work on in the offseason and we have to put that commitment in if we want to change what the city has seen for the last 13 years for us coming back home early,” Towns said. “It has to end, this is a big offseason for us. We have the talent, we have the coaching, and we have to put it together this offseason, and get ready to come back with the fire power plus the intelligence needed to go out there and win a lot more games.”
With the conclusion of the season, Thibodeau, his staff and his players look ahead to the offseason. And they are focused on working hard, continuing to improve, and getting back to it next season in hopes of ending that 13-year playoff drought.
“When you are looking at the offseason, you are obviously looking at the improvements of your own players, but then you’re also looking at the draft, free agency and then trade opportunities. The salary cap space that we have is important,” Thibodeau said.
“This is an exciting time of the year because it never ends. This all gives us a chance to improve our team. . . I think the guys, their work this summer will be critical for them to improve. We’re positioned great.”