Wolves are back, and so is the playoff atmosphere at target center

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ struggles for nearly a decade are well documented. Ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season, Wolves have only reached the playoffs once since 2003-04. Other than that, they have consistently finished near the bottom of the league standings.

Due to these difficulties, many Wolves fans abandoned the team and were unwilling to spend money on a losing team. Some diehards showed up, but the atmosphere was understandably dull compared to other local crowds.

However, that all changed this year. On Tuesday night, as the Wolves hosted the Los Angeles Clippers at a packed Target Center in the Play-In tournament, fans began to take seats in the arena before the game when a chant broke out among the waiting fans. the start of the game. .

“The wolves are back! The wolves are back! The wolves are back!”

That’s not only true with the team’s performance this season, but it’s also true with the organization and state of Wolves basketball in general. Minnesota returns to the playoffs after finishing the year with a 46-36 record and winning the seventh seed in the West.

The wolves are back. It’s been evident all season, and you could feel it again on a big stage Tuesday in Minneapolis.

Throughout the NBA regular season, Wolves fans spoke of the increased energy and atmosphere at Target Center. The team has not only improved on the pitch, but the swagger has also returned to both the team and the fan base that supports it.

During the first Play-In game on Tuesday, I joined the Wolves fans in the stands for the game, and the change in energy and atmosphere was one of the first things I noticed. As someone who has attended many games as a team employee, member of the media and as a fan, the difference in energy and atmosphere has completely changed this year and has only increase with basketball’s return to the playoffs.

The only thing I could personally compare it to is when Target Center tipped during the Minnesota Lynx playoff games. The mood is very similar, with fans on the edge of their seats cheering and chanting for most of the match.

Wolves’ success obviously plays a big part in the mood swing inside Target Center, as does the team’s sheer entertainment factor. If you win, the fans will follow and support you. We saw that with other sports teams in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and Wolves eventually joined that group.

On Tuesday, this was present throughout Target Center. The fans were on their feet, they were singing, they were cheering and they were supporting Wolves with a high energy atmosphere from the start. It hasn’t been around much for almost a decade. After Minnesota returned to beat Los Angeles to qualify to face the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs, a chant heard before the game returned and flooded the Target Center lobby, followed by a “We want Memphis!” accompanying song.

“The wolves are back! The wolves are back! The wolves are back!”

The wolves are definitely back. And playoff basketball is back at Target Center, which is amazing to see. But the atmosphere and energy of the playoffs also returned to Wolves games. He breathed new life into downtown Minneapolis, the organization, the team and the fans during the NBA season.

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