"I pride myself on that end, so I've got to make sure I'm at the top of my game on the defensive end and everybody else is up there with me." - Jimmy Butler via @JaceFrederick (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jimmy Butler Makes Me Believe in the Minnesota Timberwolves

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It’s been a long time since we’ve seen consistently good basketball in Minnesota. I’m not talking about sustained playoff runs. I’m not pointing to the Kevin Garnett era and their 47 straight playoff appearances. I’m not asking for the spoiled rotten treatment we received back then. We’d be happy with 1 playoff season… Can we just sneak in one year?

That hasn’t been the Timberwolves way, since they arrived in the late 80’s. They’ve either been really good, and going to the playoffs every year (47 straight as I cited before), or they have been devastatingly bad, like they were at their birth and like they have been for the last 1.4 decades, since Garnett left.

Well, it looks like that type of consistency will continue. But, lucky for us, the tides are about to shift, bringing the Wolves back into a high-wave of success, for the next half-decade (or more), that should be comparable (hopefully better) than the KG era.

However, the last couple games have been the opposite of the team I just described. They’ve been sloppy on both ends of the floor. The effort looks to be lacking. Fans are frustrated. They’ve lost 2 straight against Eastern Conference bottom-dwellers. The defense has regressed. Wiggins is the shell of the self he was in the first few games. Towns looks overwhelmed on defense, which is leading to more time on the court for Taj to try and make-up, leaving Dieng and what he brings off the bench, collecting dust.

It’s been a negative atmosphere. But why? What happened?

Jimmy Butler was out, with an upper-respiratory illness, for both games. But that shouldn’t matter? The effort should still be there.

I agree. But, it’s not. I was in your boat. No excuses, play like a champion.

But, I got home early today and I got on Twitter… Jace Frederick (of the Pioneer Press @JaceFrederick on Twitter – You should follow him) and Jimmy Butler were there to embrace me and show me the light that is Jimmy Butler.

How do you not love this guy? I’m busting out my And1’s, as I type this, to go for that last roster spot. This shit makes me believe. How can you not. It’s like it’s a mission for him. Like failing isn’t an option. He has a self and team accountability factor that these young guys have never played with, since they have been in the NBA.

Oh, he is still sick too.

And it isn’t just quotes like this or other leadership he brings off the court. It’s on the court too. That’s been proven in the last two games, when it seemed as though the Wolves had lost their pack leader and had no idea where to be on defense, or even offense at times.

Here is Thibs reminding us that we haven’t seen what Butler can do offensively yet…..

Don’t confuse this as a pardon for the rest of the team, Karl Anthony-Towns especially. Towns has proven he can talk the talk. He wants to be a superstar. He wants to be great. He wants to be an ambassador to the NBA. He wants to be everything the NBA wants a star player to be. BUT, I put most of the blame on him, for these last two games. You can stuff the stat sheet all you want. People who know basketball, and are watching Towns play defense, all have a bad taste afterward.

Butler’s message will eventually translate and this team will be what we thought they might, but fans are getting impatient. At least with Butler back on the floor, the team should at-least compete.

Game tonight vs OKC can be seen on FSN and tips off at 7 PM

Eric Strack
Minnesota Sports Fan
MinnesotaSportsFan.com @RealMNSportsFan

Follow @JaceFrederick on Twitter to stay updated with the Wolves.

Photo: ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN / NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES

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