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Jimmy Butler.

3 reasons why the Minnesota Timberwolves aren't going away this season

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The Minnesota Timberwolves made some big moves this offseason, bringing in Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague to pair alongside young stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins and shipping point guard Ricky Rubio off to Utah.

Those moves have clearly paid off, as the Timberwolves are 7-3 through 10 games and tied with the Golden State Warriors for second place in the Western Conference, only half a game behind the 8-3 Houston Rockets.

Coach Tom Thibodeau has his team playing great basketball, and barring injury, that's something that likely won't change moving forward.

After missing out on the playoffs last year, the Timberwolves are making moves toward a postseason berth this summer.

A tough test at Golden State looms large on Wednesday night, but the Timberwolves should at least be able to compete with the West's top teams this year, unlike years past.

Here are three reasons why this season's Timberwolves squad won't be going away any time soon:

Minnesota Timberwolves v Miami Heat

Jeff Teague has been incredible

Rubio always put up great assist numbers, but he didn't have much of a jump shot, so defenders were able to play off him a bit to focus attention on other players.

However, Teague has provided a scoring spark while also dishing out a high number of assists, averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 assists per game.

Teague had perhaps his best performance of the year on Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets, scoring 18 points and passing out 12 assists in a 112-94 win.

If Teague can continue to move the ball around while being a legitimate scoring threat, the Minnesota offense will keep thriving.

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns has gotten even better

KAT is already one of the best young big men in the game, and he's getting even better this year, averaging 21.8 points and 10.9 rebounds a night, to go with two blocks per game.

He anchors both the Minnesota offense and defense, and is one of few players in the league capable of handling such a task.

With Wiggins, Butler and Teague also in the mix offensively, teams can't focus on stopping Towns as much as they did last year, so he should only continue to improve.

As long as he stays healthy, the Timberwolves will be tough for any team to beat on any given night.

Utah Jazz v Minnesota Timberwolves

They're not giving away free points

Through 10 games, opponents are only making 13.7 free throws a night against the Timberwolves on 18.4 attempts. The 13.7 makes are the fewest free-throws allowed in the NBA.

That means the Timberwolves aren't letting opponents get to the charity stripe, and when they do, their best players aren't the ones shooting the shots.

There's no easier place to score on a basketball court than the free-throw stripe, so if Thibodeau's squad can keep opposing players from getting to the line, it'll help the team's defense continue to thrive.

Topics:
NBA
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Andrew Wiggins
Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA Playoffs
Karl-Anthony Towns

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