Against that backdrop, the Wolves are staring up a steep hill. To steal a phrase from the World Cup, the Wolves find themselves in their own Group of Death. In their case, it’s the Western Conference, which towers over the Eastern Conference like a big brother in a back yard wrestling match.
Seven teams in the West won at least 50 games this season. The Wolves haven’t won 50 games in a season in a decade.
Phoenix won 48 games this season and missed the playoffs. A 50-win season earned Memphis the seventh seed.
Portland is on the rise. Golden State has a nucleus of young, exciting talent. The Houston Rockets look primed to make a run at LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, which would transform a solid playoff team into an instant title contender. The Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. San Antonio is San Antonio.
All of those teams are either entrenched as legitimate contenders or ascending to that level. Good luck to the Wolves trying to dig out of this mess.
How fast LaVine develops will be integral to that process. But it speaks to the skepticism surrounding this organization that LaVine’s choice of words became the main talking point on draft night.
Can’t say I blame the guy.
Chip Scoggins email@example.com