2003–04 Minnesota Timberwolves season

The 2003–04 NBA season was the 15th season for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the National Basketball Association. The season is one of the most memorable in Timberwolves history. During the offseason, the Timberwolves signed free agents Michael Olowakandi and Trenton Hassell. With a Western Conference-best 58-24 finish, the Wolves set the franchise record for wins, and won its first and only division championship. Power forward Kevin Garnett averaged 24.2 points, a league-high 13.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.2 blocks per game, winning the regular season Most Valuable Player Award.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Timberwolves defeated the Denver Nuggets in five games, which was their first ever win in a playoff series. The Wolves were then pushed to the limit in the semifinals by the Sacramento Kings, who they narrowly defeated in a deciding seventh game. In the Western Conference Finals, they faced the Los Angeles Lakers, who had defeated them in last season's First Round in six games. The Lakers team was known for its all-star starting lineup of Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton and Karl Malone, and were defeated in six games. The Lakers would then go on to lose in the NBA Finals to the Detroit Pistons in five games.

They also acquired 4-time All-Star Latrell Sprewell in the off-season. The arrival was seen as controversial as Sprewell was known for his choking incident with then-Warriors head coach P.J. Carlesimo, and helping the 8th-seeded New York Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1999, and Sam Cassell, who was known for winning two championships with the Houston Rockets, and his tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he helped guide the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001, to join Garnett, forming a "Big 3". Garnett, Cassell, and coach Flip Saunders represented the Western Conference in the 2004 NBA All-Star Game. The 2004 All-Star game was Cassell's only All-Star appearance in his career.

The Timberwolves would not make the playoffs again until 2018, and as of 2019, this remains the only season the Wolves had ever won a playoff series.

Offseason

NBA Draft

Roster

Roster listing
2003–04 Minnesota Timberwolves roster
PlayersCoaches
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
PG19Cassell, Sam6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)185 lb (84 kg)1969-11-18Florida State
F44Ebi, Ndudi Injured6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)200 lb (91 kg)1984-06-18Westbury Christian (HS)
F/C21Garnett, Kevin6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)220 lb (100 kg)1976-05-19Farragut Academy (HS)
G/F23Hassell, Trenton6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)200 lb (91 kg)1979-03-04Austin Peay State
SG32Hoiberg, Fred6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)203 lb (92 kg)1972-10-15Iowa State
PG16Hudson, Troy Injured6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)170 lb (77 kg)1976-03-13Southern Illinois
C40Johnson, Ervin6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)245 lb (111 kg)1967-12-21New Orleans
F/C35Madsen, Mark6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)240 lb (109 kg)1976-01-28Stanford
PG15Martin, Darrick5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)170 lb (77 kg)1971-03-06UCLA
C3Miller, Oliver6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)280 lb (127 kg)1970-04-06Arkansas
C34Olowokandi, Michael7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)269 lb (122 kg)1975-04-03Pacific
G/F8Sprewell, Latrell6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)190 lb (86 kg)1970-09-08Alabama
G/F10Szczerbiak, Wally6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)244 lb (111 kg)1977-03-05Miami (OH)
PF20Trent, Gary6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)250 lb (113 kg)1974-09-22Ohio
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Roster

Regular season

Standings


Record vs. opponents

Playoffs

West First Round

(1) Minnesota Timberwolves vs. (8) Denver Nuggets: Timberwolves win series 4–1

Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first meeting between the Timberwolves and Nuggets.

West Conference Semifinals

(1) Minnesota Timberwolves vs. (4) Sacramento Kings Timberwolves win series 4–3

Last Playoff Meeting: This is the first meeting between the Timberwolves and Kings.

West Conference Finals

(1) Minnesota Timberwolves vs. (2) Los Angeles Lakers: Lakers win series 4–2

Last Playoff Meeting: 2003 Western Conference First Round (Los Angeles won 4-2)

Awards and honors

Week/Month

  • Kevin Garnett was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played November 16 through November 22.
  • Kevin Garnett was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played December 14 through December 20.
  • Sam Cassell was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played December 21 through December 27.
  • Kevin Garnett was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played January 18 through January 24.
  • Kevin Garnett was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played January 25 through January 31.
  • Kevin Garnett was named Western Conference Player of the Month for December.
  • Kevin Garnett was named Western Conference Player of the Month for January.
  • Kevin Garnett was named Western Conference Player of the Month for February.
  • Kevin Garnett was named Western Conference Player of the Month for April.
  • Flip Saunders was named Western Conference Coach of the Month for April.

All-Star

  • Kevin Garnett was voted as a starter for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game. It was his seventh consecutive All-Star selection. Garnett finished first among Western Conference players in voting with 1,780,918 votes.
  • Sam Cassell was selected as a reserve for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game. It was his first and only All-Star selection.
  • Flip Saunders coached the Western Conference to a 136–132 victory over the Eastern Conference.

Season

Injuries/Missed games

Player statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field-goal percentage 3P% 3-point field-goal percentage FT% Free-throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game

Regular season

* – Stats with the Timberwolves.
^ – Minimum 125 free throws made.

Playoffs

† – Minimum 20 field goals made.
^ – Minimum 5 three-pointers made.

Transactions

Trades

June 27, 2003
To Milwaukee Bucks----To Minnesota Timberwolves----
July 23, 2003
To Philadelphia 76ers----To Atlanta Hawks----
To New York Knicks----To Minnesota Timberwolves----

Free agents

Additions

Subtractions

Uses material from the Wikipedia article 2003–04 Minnesota Timberwolves season, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.