Tipped by experts across the league to be one of the most improved teams in the NBA this season, the Minnesota Timberwolves had the weight of the world sitting on their very young shoulders.
Being selected with the fifth pick in the draft, Kris Dunn was thrown into the deep end after joining the Timberwolves. They were a young team starting out with a new coach and with the NBA world watching intently as they took the floor every night.
As his rookie season is now drawing to a close, Dunn looks back on the past year and reflects of some of the lessons he has learned, and what he needs to do to improve his game.
“There’s been a lot of ups and downs,” he said. “I’ve had good games and bad games and just been trying to learn the game itself.”
Dunn admitted that the grind of the NBA season has worn him down a little.
“[It’s tough] just trying to bring it every day, and play at a high level every game,” he said. “There’s a lot of games, a lot of traveling. The best players, they bring it every game. No matter if it’s a back-to-back; no matter what the situation is: If you want to be good, you’ve gotta learn how to be consistent.”
Some stats from Monday night’s NCAA Championship game revealed that the Timberwolves’ Karl Anthony Towns was in fact younger than all 10 of the starters in the game. Boasting a very youthful roster, but with some seasoned veterans thrown into the mix, Dunn says that it means that there’s a lot of learning happening.
“There’s just a lot of learning,” he admitted. “There’s a lot of young guys. We’re all young, raw trying to understand and buy into the system. As a group we’re young so it’s cool to be around these guys.”
At the midpoint of the season, the consensus was that Joel Embiid was a shoe-in to take out Rookie of the Year honors. However, after sitting out a good chuck of the second half of the season, it appeared to be anyone’s for the taking. As one of the top picks in the class, Dunn says that he thinks Embiid will still take out the award.
“I haven’t really had much of a chance to watch everyone play, but I’d have to say Joel is still my favorite,” Dunn said. “He was playing at a high level.”
We are in the final stretch of the NBA regular season, and while that might bring the excitement of playoffs for some teams – it also drops the crushing reality of another failed campaign on others. For Kris Dunn and his Minnesota Timberwolves, this season might not have gone as they planned, but the team’s future is very bright.
Dunn is positive that the team is evolving and with time, things will start to click for the Timberwolves.
“This year we didn’t make it to the playoffs, so we have to just get more experience. We’ve got a lot of young guys – I feel like as the years go by, everyone’s going to get better and better.
“We’re just trying to improve.”
Featured Image: Footwear news