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The question was right in the wheelhouse for the ever-astute Karl-Anthony Towns Tuesday night.

Just after the Timberwolves had held a special practice in front of military members and their families and just before putting on a public practice/scrimmage for fans at Target Center, Towns was asked if he had a sense of just how excited the fans were to finally lay eyes upon the Wolves.

“I definitely do,” he said. “I feel the excitement. I feel a genuine excitement and anticipation for the season to come around. After the Lynx win, we’ll have a lot more excitement built up for us.”

In one answer Towns checked all the boxes. He acknowledged the fans while paying a quick homage to the Lynx, who will play in Game 5 of the WNBA finals Thursday.

Well done.

But there was no exaggeration. With its young core, the addition of rookie Kris Dunn, with added depth and — perhaps more than anything else — a new man in charge in Tom Thibodeau, there is palpable excitement surrounding the Timberwolves.

And that had to be frustrating for fans, with the Wolves spending the first five games of preseason in near sequestration; none of the five games were on TV.

But finally, a chance. Tuesday’s open practice was attended by about 3,000 fans who watched drills while Thibodeau stood at center court with his arms crossed. Wednesday, when the Wolves play Memphis in the home preseason opener, they’ll see a team that has come a long way. But, according to Thibodeau, it has a way to go before the games count.

“I think we’re all excited,” Thibodeau said. “We’re looking forward to it. It’s been an unusual preseason for us, being on the road as long as we were to start. But, in some ways, it was good for us, too. It gave us a chance to get away, start to learn how to play on the road, to develop some closeness, a toughness that’s necessary to win. But now we’re home. We have a week [before the season starts]. We have two chances to play here.”

Through five games and three victories — Thibodeau sat his entire starting five for Sunday’s game at Oklahoma City — the Wolves have shown a determination to defend, to shoot the three-pointer more. Thibodeau seemingly has settled on a rotation, with Towns, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng and Ricky Rubio as starters. The second unit has been led by Dunn, Shabazz Muhammad, Cole Aldrich, Brandon Rush and Nemanja Bjelica.

The excitement about this team goes well beyond Minnesota. In the league’s annual survey of general managers, the Wolves were picked to be the most improved team, Thibodeau was voted the new coach who would have the biggest impact, Towns was the player GMs would sign if they were starting a franchise and Zach LaVine was voted the league’s most athletic player.

“When you start the season, it’s always fun,” Rubio said. “But this year it’s something special. We can really feel it. We believe in what we have here, and coach has been great so far. We’re excited to start.”

Thibodeau said fans can expect the starters to play more minutes over the final two games, playing into the fourth quarter for the first time.

After hosting Memphis on Wednesday the Wolves will play Charlotte on Friday to finish the preseason. The regular season begins next Wednesday in Memphis.

But the home portion of the preseason is finally here.

“It’s good to be back in front of the home town,” LaVine said. “It’s good to shoot in the stadium again, see that big new scoreboard.”