The 2000-01 season saw the Timberwolves survive struggles that had little to do with what happened on the court. Just after the previous season ended, the Wolves lost Malik Sealy when he was killed in a car accident, and in October, the NBA voided forward Joe Smith's contract with the Wolves. (He signed with the Detroit Pistons in November). But the Wolves knew they had to regroup and try to move on with the task at hand, which was the 2000-01 NBA season. The team welcomed new faces Chauncey Billups, LaPhonso Ellis, Reggie Slater, Todd Day and later Felipe Lopez for the 2000-01 season and the Wolves not only survived, they flourished.
They finished the regular season with a 47-35 record, the fourth straight season the Wolves have been over .500. Minnesota clinched its fifth consecutive playoff berth with a 104-91 win at Vancouver on April 10, claiming the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The Wolves' 47 wins were the most ever for a No. 8 seed. The Wolves took on San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs and again won Game 3 before losing the series, 3-1.
The Wolves set a franchise record for the most ever wins at home, ending the season with a 30-11 home record. The Wolves' loss on April 8 to the L.A. Lakers put a stop to a 10-game home winning streak, the longest one-year streak ever for the team.
The Wolves had their best month of the season in January, when they finished with a 12-4 record, highlighted by an eight-game winning streak. The streak extended into February before reaching a franchise-record (and NBA season-high) 11 games going into the All-Star Break.
Kevin Garnett played in his fourth All-Star game and scored 14 points. He was named to the All-NBA Second Team and was fifth in the voting for league MVP. He was the NBA Player of the Week after leading the Wolves to a 3-0 record for the week of Nov. 13-19. Garnett averaged 22.0 points per game, good for 16th in the league, and averaged 11.4 rebounds (sixth in the league). All in all, Garnett finished the 2000-01 season with 54 double-doubles in 81 outings and has scored in double figures in his last 291 games.
Wally Szczerbiak started all 82 games during the season, becoming only the fourth player in Wolves history to do so. Szczerbiak was named the MVP of the Schick Rookie Challenge over All-Star Weekend, scoring 27 points (11-13 FG, 5-6 3FG) with eight rebounds as a member of the sophomore team.
Terrell Brandon scored a career-high 34 points on March 25 versus New Jersey (a 105-91 win) and scored 30 points in a 99-95 win over Portland at the Rose Garden. He posted his second career triple-double (27 points, 10 rebounds, 16 assists) Feb. 23 against Golden State. Ellis finished his ninth year in the NBA by playing in all 82 games for the first time since his rookie season (1992-93). He finished third in the voting for Sixth Man of the Year.