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The Bleacher Bums: November 14, 2008 Archive

Unreal expectations

Posted at 9:09 AM on November 14, 2008 by Chris Dall (2 Comments)

When you look at three of Minnesota's major teams, they all came into their current (or recent) seasons predicting success based on assumptions, some stronger than than others. And we all know what happens when you assume too much.

For the Twins, two of the key building blocks for a successful '08 campaign were Delmon Young being an important cog in the offense, and Francisco Liriano being the pitcher he was in 2006, two not-unreasonable assumptions. The Twins did have a good season, yet neither of those scenarios really played out.

For the Vikings, the vision of going deep into the playoffs was based on Tarvaris Jackson being a quality NFL quarterback. That was a slightly bigger assumption, some would say completely misguided, that has nevertheless also gone unfulfilled. The Vikings could still have a good season, but it might be because TJack's holding a clipboard and not overthrowing receivers.

For the Timberwolves, the march toward respectability was founded upon Randy Foye becoming a true playmaker at the point guard position, and the team playing significantly better defense. The first assumption so far looks increasingly like a long shot. With each game, it appears that Foye is neither a point guard nor a playmaker. And every time I look at Brandon Roy's box score, I feel like I've been punched in the stomach.

But the notion that the Timberwolves would play better defense this year, that they in fact focused on defense during training camp, is laughable. Aside from Corey Brewer, this team seems to have no concept of defense. Opposing teams drive into the lane untouched, or kick it out to wide-open players on the wings. It makes you wonder what exactly they were doing during training camp.

And, of course, the biggest assumption of all has been made by Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who continues to assume that Kevin McHale knows how to build a winning franchise. Note to Glen: he doesn't.

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