If there is a slogan for this year's Timberwolves — at least unofficially, since it wouldn't be very catchy on T-shirts, posters or temporary tattoos — it emerged early and often during new coach/basketball president Tom Thibodeau's opening session at Monday's media day.

With the Wolves set to begin training camp Tuesday, these three words are sure to follow them around: "Close the gap."

Thibodeau said it multiple times Monday, perhaps none more clearly than toward the end of one response.

"We don't want to fool ourselves," he said. "We're a 29-win team. We want to close the gap."

How exactly are the Wolves going to close the gap? Thibodeau talked about the need to become a top-10 team in both offensive and defensive efficiency. They were close on offense last year (No. 12 per Basketball Reference) but woefully short on defense (No. 28).

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.