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Vicchiollo: Timberwolves Winning The Division, Why Not? Hold On A Sec!

Dear Timberwolves fans,

Here’s Louie Vicchiollo latest piece. Click to read:

Not sure if you should? Fair.

It’s a 9-minute read, which feels long, so I’d say skim it.

Plus, it’s a list article. Usually more reasons to skim.

Alright, so I was reading, and reading—it felt, at times, mundane—until I read his last point:

What’s he saying there? It’s an implied thesis, which feels academic and, therefore, feels like a chore.

(So now you could see why I write in a style that is short, conversational and straightforward)

(Oh, and by the way, you’re on the wrong website if you expect long forms every day)

(I don’t have time for that)

Alright back to the program, summarizing Louie’s last point here … Timberwolves can realistically win the division, so why not?

Well, sure it is. Here’s what ESPN projects:

Probably based his article off of this prediction. (More on this concept in a later piece)

Okay, before I continue, let me just say this: hold on a second!

Statistical models, or what have you, based on its current form, can only bring you so far.

We can base every prediction on stats—advanced or not—and algorithms, but when we do so, what we trying to prove?

That we’re closer to the truth?

Hardly.

[ Related: ARGUMENTS USING NBA STATS PARTIALLY DEFINE THE TIMBERWOLVES PLAYOFF CHANCES ]

There are other factors will go into the Timberwolves winning the division, and Louie is right to acknowledge that.

But expectations like the 4th seed, winning the division—even 50 wins?

Okay…

I’m not convinced.

Not because I think these models and predictions are inaccurate. You can throw all the numbers you want at me, and appeal to my emotions with your interpretations, but I’ve read enough of these kinds of articles and, often times, I’m asking the same question: so what?

So what if the Timberwolves don’t win the division and finish second?

Or if they miss the 4th seed, and finished 5th.

Are we supposed to be outraged that they fell short?

Are we suppose to overreact if they end the season with, say, 44 wins?

Are we going to base our reactions on how they’ll play in the playoffs, based on these prediction models and lofty expectations?

Or even what Mr. Taylor said:

That’s … in reality, silly.

And biased too.

I bet you the stats guys know all of this, so why don’t we do this? Let’s not create specific expectations for the Timberwolves using this or that model, or stretching the expectations after their offseason.

Let’s create a more realistic expectation. Let’s see if the Timberwolves could stay healthy and make the playoffs, unlike last season.

How’s that for an idea. (And that’s my main idea, by the way)

Radical?

No.

Realistic?

Yes.

Saves you a headache?

Absolutely.

So then, Timberwolves fans, how are you going to feel if the Timberwolves win 44 games, finish 3rd in their division, and win the 7th seed?

If you are going to feel outraged—and disappointed?—don’t be silly.

It’s been how many years, now, since we missed the playoffs?

That should be the only focus.

—DP

Go Timberwolves! Get your howl on.

Follow us on Twitter @howlintwolf & @Twolvesblog.

Last but not least, check out the latest Timberwolves news:

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