A New Era is Coming for the Minnesota Timberwolves with the Hiring of Tom Thibodeau


Source: SportSpyder.com

The Minnesota Timberwolves are now officially the most interesting team in the NBA. Tom Thibodeau was hired to be the Coach and President of Basketball Operations, and now he is ready to create a new and historic era of winning basketball that the city of Minneapolis has not seen since the old Lakers days in the 50s.

Thibodeau is primed to take a franchise that has been a bottom feeder for the last 12 years, and turn them into a perennial powerhouse—a team to be feared for many years in the Western Conference, a team featuring next generational talents in Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Zach LaVine.

The pressure is now on for the young T-pups, this team’s expectations have just shot through the roof. With Coach Thibodeau at the helm, expect this team to vastly improve from its 2016 finish at 29-53 and to definitely compete for a playoff spot starting next season.

Source: DimeAthletics.com

The hiring of Thibodeau for the young Timberwolves is epic in many ways. He provides an elite mind for the defensive side of the ball where the Wolves have lacked for the better part of 10 years, since Kevin Garnett was traded. They also already have a top-notch offense, ranking in at 11 for offensive efficiency for the 2015-2016 season.

Another great attribute Thibodeau has is his ability to get the most out of his players. For example, he is credited for turning Jimmy Butler into an All-Star. After Derrick Rose went down again in 2014-2015 season, Butler stepped up and lead the Bulls to the playoffs.

Thibodeau can definitely work his magic on Wiggins like he did with Butler. He will harness is raw athletic ability and natural talent, to unleash him unto the NBA as one of the fiercest two-way players in the league. Some are skeptical that Wiggins will not be able to handle Thibodeau’s rough coaching demeanor, but if he is truly going to meet all this hype he has accrued over the years; he will have to buy-in and let Thibodeau show him the way.

LaVine will also benefit from having Thibodeau as coach. Like Wiggins, he contains a lot of athletic ability and raw talent. With the right coaching, his defensive mechanics will vastly improve and he will have the potential to become one of the better shooting guards in the league under Thibodeau’s tutelage.

Towns definitely benefits from having Thibodeau as coach as well. Although he would progress naturally like any other superstar would, regardless of the coach—adding Thibodeau accelerates the team’s overall possibility to greatness. This helps to keep the Timberwolves young studs in town during free agency, and even marks the team as a potential landing spot for good players to want to play for them.

With Thibodeau’s defensive mind combined with the team’s potent offensive ability, the young pups will shoot up the Western Conference standings, fast.  Ricky Rubio, Towns, and Wiggins are already talented defensive players. Add in the potential of LaVine and possibly Gorgui Dieng (if he starts), the defensive unit could be top 10 in the league.

As most people are lauding the Timberwolves and Thibodeau for combining forces, there are some questions regarding his last job as the coach of the Chicago Bulls that seem to pop up within basketball circles and the media. Although he led the Bulls to the playoffs in all five seasons with a career record of 255-139, there were a few “failed seasons” because ultimately the Bulls would end up losing out of the playoffs too soon. They did make it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011, the year Derrick Rose won NBA MVP, but they ended up losing to LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

A lot of people blame Thibodeau for overplaying his players too many minutes during the regular season, sending them into bouts of prolonged injury (see Rose), and just overall being too exhausted to compete when playoff time came around. He was also known to clash with upper management too often that they eventually had enough and fired him after his fifth straight playoff appearance.

With the Timberwolves hiring Thibodeau as the President of Basketball Operations, he has the chance to set the tone of how the organization will be run. There will not be any clashes with management this go-around, because he will be management.

An important factor though is his willingness to listen to other voices to help shape the organization. He cannot get tunnel vision and just make decisions without listening to differing opinions. Good leaders listen to all the options from their advisors, and then they weigh all those decisions to decide on the right choice. With the hiring of former Assistant General Manager of the San Antonio Spurs, Scott Layden—Thibodeau has found himself a solid General Manager who will not just be a “yes man”, but someone who he can trust to offer an honest opinion on important basketball related matters.

Overall this may be the greatest signing the Timberwolves have ever done.  It will definitely top the Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell signings of the 2003-2004 NBA season. The hiring of Tom Thibodeau may be seen in the future as the pinnacle moment the Wolves decided to stop being less-than-mediocre, and to finally try to go for something bigger than just future potential.

Thibodeau shared his excitement of being hired by the Timberwolves with Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tibune:

 

Source: Jerry Zgoda

Timberwolves fans everywhere should be celebrating. Glen Taylor and the organization finally came through, and took a leap for greatness. If you have been a die-hard fan these past 12 years, please pat yourself on the back, this was much needed.

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