Hardly anyone saw it coming. But, the Minnesota Timberwolves are the team to beat in the 2024 NBA playoffs. So, who can stop the Minnesota Timberwolves? The Denver Nuggets can’t stop them. At least, the Nuggets haven’t been able to stop them so far in the second series.

Commentary: The Minnesota Timberwolves are the Team to Beat in the 2024 NBA Playoffs

I can’t say that at the beginning of the season, many people thought we would see the Denver Nuggets be 0-2 going into the second series of the 2024 NBA playoffs. These guys are the reigning champions, after all. The Minnesota Timberwolves have been strong the past few years, but nobody thought they would be this strong. That said, the NBA playoffs are always filled with surprises, and this year is no exception.

Minnesota is continually proving that it’s the best team in the NBA this year. The Timberwolves are the team to beat. I’m not the only one making this statement. The StarTribune.com has an opinion pieces out, stating, “Timberwolves, at the moment, are the best team in the NBA. They need 10 more victories to win a championship and have the right to say that themselves. The rest of us don’t have to wait. We can see it.” So true. Forbes.com also has a piece out, where they talk up the Timberwolves’ impressive defense, stating, “What we’re seeing is the product of a meticulous coaching staff, elite team-building moves from Wolves president Tim Connelly, and the value of staying patient while trusting your blueprint.” They add that, “Minnesota took a massive gamble by leaning into this version of their team with the Gobert trade, essentially committing the future to this core.”

So, what makes it so the Minnesota Timberwolves are the team to beat this time around? It’s really their defense. They say defense wins games, but teams time and time again are more offense-focused. The Timberwolves got it right to focus on their hard-hitting defense, which makes it difficult for any other team to get points on the board. In fact, Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert was recently named NBA Defensive Player of Year, and he deserves it. It’s a familiar honor for him, as he also won in 2018, 2019 and 2021 with the Utah Jazz. Now, he ties joins Hall of Famers Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace as the league’s sole four-time winners. “It’s a blessing and an honor to join this small group,” Gobert said in an interview with ESPN. “These two guys are legends. Every story is unique. I will keep writing mine and try to be the best version of myself every day and enjoy every step of the way.” He added, “I’m grateful that my teammates and this organization believe in me and allowing me to be who I am. It’s always about the team and pushing each other to give our best every day.”

What’s even more heartwarming is that Timberwolves coach Chris Finch is doing it all through the pain. Physical pain. He has a ruptured a patellar tendon and recently underwent surgery. As The Athletic reports, “It is a traumatic injury that generally calls for patients to keep their leg elevated and immobilized for a stretch after it is repaired to aid healing and reduce the pain. Finch was back at practice, crutching around the court, the next day and on a flight to Denver to join his Timberwolves for Game 1 two days after he was cut open.”

Now, the Minnesota Timberwolves are the team to beat. I’m predicting they’ll go up against Boston in the final. Pretty much everyone should be predicting that at this point. Whether they can take down the Celtics remains to be seen. Either way, it’s going to make for an exciting finale.