Far removed from the hot takes of the moment — who gets the blame for a loss, who gets the glory for a victory, what might have happened differently in a close playoff game to alter a magnified result — is a more basic compact between teams and fans.

Organizations will give maximum effort to put together a competitive team. Players and coaches will give 100% in their pursuit of victory. And their supporters will cheer, letting an overriding sense of joy and optimism rule the day even if their fandom is checkered with temporary frustrations and dejection.

This year's Timberwolves are an excellent model of how that triangle feeds off each other and is supposed to work. They proved to be one of the best teams in the NBA all season, and fans rewarded them with sellout Target Center crowds and a swelling base. And then they embarked on their first playoff run in 20 years, a streak mixed with dominance and perseverance, bringing them to the Western Conference finals for just the second time in their history.

Everyone's hopes took a serious blow with a pair of excruciatingly close losses at Target Center to start the conference finals, and a third consecutive close defeat in Dallas left the Wolves on the brink of elimination heading into Tuesday.

Quite suddenly, the Wolves and their fans faced the prospect of an abrupt end to a joyful run — a finish that could have come without a return trip to Target Center.

As I talked about on Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast, that just wouldn't have felt right.

This year has been too good, the joy too great, for a cold-blooded sweep culminating on the road in Dallas. While that certainly could have happened, it of course didn't.

The Wolves — led by once-dormant stars Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns — summoned enough belief and shooting touch to escape Dallas with a 105-100 win in Game 4.

They know that history is not just stacked against them, it is crushing them. NBA teams who have fallen behind in a seven-game series are 0-154 all-time in those series.

The Wolves now have a flicker of hope that they can make history. At minimum, they and their fans have this: At least one more chance to have a party at Target Center on Thursday night and share the reciprocal joy they give each other.

It only seems appropriate, no matter what happens Thursday and beyond.