On a certain level, I am very happy with the success the Timberwolves have attained this year. They’ve won 50 percent of their games so far this year at a time in franchise history where the past six seasons netted a 143-348 record (.291). So there’s certainly reason for happiness and hope within the fanbase.
The problem (yes, there’s a problem) is that the improvement has been so vast from last year to this year that there are a few of us who are jaded. We suffered through some of the worst NBA performances imaginable, and now other far less-dedicated fans are hopping on the bandwagon, buying up season tickets, and overall making a mockery of my – and others’ – six years of misery. What’s worse is that the rotation includes guys like Pekovic and Rubio and Derrick Williams – key players who weren’t a part of the team (or a fringe contributor in Pek’s case) in 2010-11, so I can’t even feel invested in their successes and failures because I don’t “know” their game yet.
So I’ve floundered a bit this season.
I enjoy the Wolves from a safe distance, reading game stories and box scores to stay “up to date” on their rise from obscurity to true relevance. I’ve caught contests now and then, marveling at the way Rubio sees the court (like we prayed he would), and observing the ease at which Kevin Love obliterates opposing power forwards and centers’ attempts to keep him from gathering caroms. Not to mention the hiring of an all-world head coach who has both the attention of the players and a discernible direction for the team.
I’m only writing here today because I’ve noticed the jaded feeling has begun to subside. I miss having a fun, successful NBA team to follow and enjoy. I suppose more than anything I needed the excitement to happen organically, because that’s the only way I could invest in a team and be truly disappointed after turnovers and missed passes, or smile like a proud father when crisp ball rotation leads to an open look or layup.
I’m taking small steps after the All-Star Break – I’ll attend my first game of the year in a couple weeks. I’m going to start DVRing games I can’t watch live, too. All in an attempt to get back the feeling I had when this team was the butt of every basketball-related joke. With any luck, I’ll be the guy crying in the stands after the Wolves’ first playoff victory in late-April or so.