Timberwolves Talk | Star Tribune
Timberwolves Talk

Timberwolves Talk

Timberwolves beat writer Jerry Zgoda joins Michael Rand every week to turn the marathon of an NBA season into a series of short sprints. The Wolves are worth talking about, and we hope you'll listen.


Episode 15: Listen: After quiet trade deadline, what should Timberwolves do?

Intro: The Cavaliers broke the Wolves' hearts, then they broke up their roster. 5:00: Jerry Zgoda is the one person aside from Tom Thibodeau who is open to the idea of Derrick Rose on the Wolves; 10:00: Some other buyout candidates to join the Wolves; 16:00: Jimmy Butler's return to Chicago, with the Wolves facing a bunch of former teammates; 22:00: What is the overall outlook heading toward the All-Star break?


Episode 14: Listen: Can the Timberwolves keep a losing slide from becoming a streak?

Orlando Magic's Arron Afflalo, left, gets into a fight with Minnesota Timberwolves' Nemanja Bjelica, center, as D.J. Augustin, right, comes in to help break it up during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. Afflalo and Bjelica were ejected from the game.

Intro: Two ugly losses after a huge home stand have put the Timberwolves in a vulnerable position. ... 10:00: The Wolves aren't built well to compete against Houston. Can they beef up their roster? 19:00: Four tough games in a row will test Minnesota's resolve. 24:00: Will Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler be All-Stars?


Episode 13: Listen: Tyus dunking on LeBron part of signature victory for Wolves

Tyus Jones (1) dunked the ball while being chased by LeBron James (23) in the first half.

Intro: The Wolves blasted the Cavs. How did they do it? 10:00: Should Minnesota set its sights higher than just the No. 4 seed? 15:00: Jeff Teague should be back soon. How should the Wolves adjust accordingly? 23:00: Trading deadline is a month away. Is there anything the Wolves could do to become big-time contenders?


Episode 12: Listen: As Timberwolves enter critical stretch, how will they respond?

Minnesota Timberwolves' Tyus Jones drives past Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Milwaukee.

Intro: Columnist Chip Scoggins hops in to talk about the Wolves' recent improved play. 15:00: Tyus or Teague? This is an interesting month for that debate. 22:00: Minnesota is entering a critical stretch of games.


Episode 11: Listen: As Jimmy Butler ascends, Andrew Wiggins continues to fade

Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler, front, drives past Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Jimmy Butler and Jamal Crawford have been terrific lately in two important wins, but Andrew Wiggins' struggles have continued. What's going on? We also answer reader questions about Nemanja Bjelica, Justin Patton and the idea that Wolves fans still seem annoyed in the midst of this franchise's best season in years.


Episode 10: Listen: Cracking the Timberwolves' rotation, KG the owner and more

Timberwolves players Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng block Kings forward Zach Randolph

Intro: Rejoice -- Marcus Georges-Hunt played 17 minutes Thursday. ... But now Jamal Crawford wants to play more, too? 12:00: A motivated KAT is a very good KAT. 20:00: KG opens old wounds, talks about owning the Wolves. 27:00: Is the Wiggins slump over?


Episode 9: Listen: 25 games into the season, the Timberwolves look tired

Karl-Anthony Towns (32) walked off the court at the end of the game. Washington beat Minnesota by a final score of 92-89. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ ï cgonzalez@startribune.com - November 28, 2017, Minneapolis, MN, Target Center, NBA, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Washington Wizards

Jam-packed episode featuring talk about: Wolves' slow pace of play; Thibodeau doesn't need a bench, he just needs 3 chairs; Karl-Anthony Towns looks tired; this is becoming Jimmy Butler's team; Tyus vs. Teague; maybe try making a trade?; long home stand should tell us a lot


Episode 8: Listen: The Wolves are on a 50-win pace, but is anyone happy?

Karl-Anthony Towns (32) dunked the ball in the first half.against Dallas earlier this season.

Intro: The sky is falling, until it isn't. 7:00: Teague outplays Rubio (again).12:00: Karl-Anthony Towns has the highest defensive rating on the Wolves. He also is in favor of medical marijuana in the NBA. 20:00: Jimmy Butler has been awfully quiet so far. 30:00: Time for a winning streak?


Episode 7: Listen: Jimmy Butler is a winner unless he's on a canoe

A 7-3 Wolves record sparks a smile in Jimmy Butler, right, who has committed to putting the team first.

Intro: Quick breakdown of Wolves vs. Warriors matchup Wednesday; 6:00: Jimmy Butler is deferring to his teammates a lot, and he's really bad on a canoe. 17:00: The Teague-Rubio debate is tilting in a different direction. 25:00: Can the Wolves duplicate this strong 10-game start in the next 10 games.


Episode 6: Listen: The Jimmy Butler effect and why the Wolves are winning games late

Wolves guard Jimmy Butler was congratulated by owner Glen Taylor on the court following Friday's victory over Oklahoma City.

Show topics: The Wolves are 4-1 when Jimmy Butler plays, and all those wins were close. How much correlation is there in those facts? The bench has been bad. Do the Wolves need patience or change?


Episode 5: Listen: Andrew Wiggins has been clutch -- and so much more

Intro: Dissecting the first week of the Wolves season, from Andrew Wiggins' buzzer-beater and strong all-around play to Jeff Teague sitting out the fourth quarter of the opener. 20:00: Three things we've liked and haven't liked so far.


Episode 4: Listen: Revamped team, remodeled arena -- your Wolves season preview

Minnesota Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins (22), Karl-Anthony Towns (32) and Jimmy Butler (23). ] CARLOS GONZALEZ ï cgonzalez@startribune.com - September 22, 2017, Minneapolis, MN, NBA, Minnesota Timberwolves Media Day

Intro: What are the expectations for the Timberwolves both Wednesday in their opener at San Antonio and for the full 82 games. Will they go over or under the Las Vegas mark of 46.5 wins? 16:00: Evaluating the NBA as a whole. 25:00: Target Center looks nice, especially if you have money.


Episode 3: Listen: Was Andrew Wiggins' extension a good deal for both sides?

Open: Breaking down Andrew Wiggins' 5-year, $148 million deal. 15:00: How did the Wolves look in China? 22:00: The season is one week away. Will the Wolves play defense?


Episode 2: Listen: What did we learn watching the Wolves for the first time this year?

Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng (5) watched as forward Jimmy Butler (23) tried to swat away the ball from Los Angeles Lakers center Ivica Zubac (40) in the first half.

Intro: Impressions of the Wolves' preseason debut against the Lakers, including the first look at Jimmy Butler; 14:00: Jerry Zgoda checks in with Ricky Rubio in Utah. 20:00: How will the Timberwolves' bench and rotation work itself out? 25:00: Just sign the contract already, Wiggins. 31:00: Twitter questions and hot takes.


Episode 1: Listen: Do the Timberwolves have what it takes to make the playoffs?

Timberwolves new point guard Jimmy Butler, right, pats coach Tom Thibodeau on the back during a news conference to welcome Butler to the team in June.

In the first episode of our new Timberwolves podcast, Jerry Zgoda and Michael Rand examine the perceived strengths and weaknesses of this year's team, which starts the season with internal and external optimism.