An unseasonably warm October will give way to icy roads soon enough — and along with it countless reminders that if you start to spin out, it is typically the right move to "steer into a skid" on the road.
Practically, all this means is turning the steering wheel in the direction your back tires are sliding.
Metaphorically, steering into a skid has come to mean either taking a counterintuitive approach to solving a problem or meeting it head on (sometimes both) depending on who is doing the talking.
The Timberwolves, for the better part of almost two decades, have been encountering basketball skids. They have typically responded by either panicking and sliding off the road or taking their hands off the wheel and covering their eyes (and sliding off the road).
They are set up to skid again in 2021-2022, with the built-in excuse of having to sever ties with team President Gersson Rosas less than a month before the start of the season.
Several people will be tasked with instead steering into that skid — led by executive vice president Sachin Gupta, who has assumed most of Rosas' duties and who joined Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast in advance of the start of the Wolves' season against Houston.
Short of making a drastic roster overhaul — something still possible given that Ben Simmons is now more available in a trade than ever — the main way Gupta can keep the Wolves on the road is to provide a sense of stability during a time of perceived chaos.
"I've been here for the past two years, and the first ting I did was to reassure everyone that there are no other changes. We have the same goals we had the week before and we're all here and in it together," Gupta said of his message after Rosas was fired. "Since Day 1 of training camp, it's been all about basketball. There's a real excitement and energy in the building."
And there should be. The Wolves have more proven talent than they have had since Jimmy Butler left, and Karl-Anthony Towns is as excited as he has been since that lone playoff season since 2004.
But with a franchise where something bad always seems to happen — making it hard not to slide off the road, let alone turn a corner — potential seldom turns into actual progress. We'll see if a roster largely assembled by a man no longer here, now managed by Gupta's steady and diplomatic hand, provides a different outcome.
"I mean, we want to make the playoffs," Gupta said. "That's important to us. But we need to be playing competitive games all the way through the year and competing for a play-in spot. We definitely need to take steps forward from where we've been, and start building this thing forward. We do have a very young team, but that's no excuse."