MINNEAPOLIS -- As the Minnesota Timberwolves get ready to kick off their 25th season, there is some major optimism at the Target Center that hasn't been around the arena for quite awhile. The "P" word, as in playoffs, is being thrown around a bit.
"It depends on a couple of things. Injuries (are one) and if you believe in the curse (is the other)," Star Tribune Timberwolves Beat Writer Jerry Zgoda said. "Timberwolves fans forever have felt, you know, something's going to go wrong, whether it's injuries or something else. I think it's guarded optimism," he added.
The Wolves haven't been to the playoffs since 2004. The nine-season drought has been tough on the fan base. The last time the wolves were in the playoffs, President George W. Bush was just finishing his first term, gas was about $2 a gallon, and a couple guys launched a crazy idea called Facebook.
"We just want to take it day by day," Power Forward Kevin Love told members of the media shortly before the home opener.
But it's hard to keep that mindset when the media keeps asking about it. We asked Rookie Center Gorgui Dieng about the playoffs. The last time he played a significant basketball game, it was for the NCAA National Championship when he was a star for the Louisville Cardinals.
"It's too early to say right now, but our goal is to make it to the playoffs," he said.
Third year point guard Ricky Rubio agreed. "It's hard to get to the playoffs, but of course, that's one of our goals," he said, adding that the loaded Western Conference will make it that much tougher. "We're trying to build something for two or three years and it's something that... it's time. It's time to do it," he concluded.
Jerry Zgoda says this might be the year to break the playoff curse. "It's a delicate situation. It feels different. I think these guys feel different," he explained.
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