Following Thursday night’s win over the Clippers, the Timberwolves are sitting in the twelfth spot in the West, but the playoffs still aren’t out of the question.
Let’s talk about the Timberwolves’ playoff hopes.
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We all know that the Western Conference is home to powerhouses like the Warriors, Spurs, Rockets, and Clippers. Moving down to the seventh-best team in the West, we see the Oklahoma City Thunder and their 25-19 record. In the eighth and final playoff spot, the Denver Nuggets hold a record of just 17-24.
That’s right — a team with a record of 17-24 is in the playoff picture in the West, which is something that really hasn’t happened in years. Usually, to make the playoffs in the West, you need a winning percentage of .550 or higher.
The Wolves have a record of 15-28, and in the last six games, they’ve won four. The four teams that they have defeated are the Mavericks, Rockets, Thunder, and Clippers– all likely playoff teams except for the Mavs.
In these last few wins, the team has started to look strong overall. Ricky Rubio has had multiple double-doubles, which has been huge for this Wolves team. Shabazz Muhammad has woken up as a scoring threat. Even Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins have stepped up their games beyond what they had been offering.
So, are the Wolves turning the corner and making a run for the playoffs? It sure looks like it. And the best part? The next five games makes for a relatively easy schedule. If the Wolves could finish off January with a handful of wins, the playoffs will look more realistic.
The next five teams to play the Wolves are the Nuggets, Suns, Pacers, Nets, and Magic. After those games, however, the Wolves play the Cavaliers. Even still, the Timberwolves have a good shot at getting into the playoff picture by the end of the month.
Sure, the season has been going terribly for the Wolves in comparison to expectations, but things could start looking up. Surely, if the Wolves can beat the Thunder, Rockets, and Clippers, they can beat almost anyone.
In this time of teams playing with smaller rosters and no true centers, the Timberwolves have swung the opposite direction. Two true centers, Gorgui Dieng and KAT, start for the Wolves, and this can cause problems for teams that play small ball. You can see that great teams like the Warriors and the Rockets that play small ball, struggle with the Wolves.
The Timberwolves have been figuring out how to take advantage of teams with their size, and the playoffs are not out of reach at all. There is hope for Wolves fans — as long as this article didn’t jinx them, that is.