If you want to test just how optimistic you're feeling about the Timberwolves now that they've acquired Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson while emerging talents Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are a year older, here is a way to do it:
Bet Online has set the Wolves' over-under victory total at 47.5. What does your gut tell you: 47 wins or less … 48 or more?
It's not easy, right?
On one hand, sites like FiveThirtyEight already are projecting 50-plus wins for the Wolves. On the other hand, this is the Wolves. They won 31 games last season and have consistently underperformed.
I put the question out on Twitter and it's a pretty even split, meaning the oddsmakers did their jobs with the 47.5 number. I'm quite confident the Wolves will win more than 40 games. I'm reasonably confident they can reach 45. But 48?
Fool me 13 times, shame on you. Fool me 14 times, shame on me.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.