Playoff watch: Challenging week ahead for Wolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to end a 13-year NBA playoff drought. The Wolves are currently in good position to make the postseason, but nothing’s written in stone just yet.
With the season ending in a month (April 11), here’s the latest look at Minnesota’s playoff chances and the week ahead.
IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY
Playoff drought over! Minnesota would be the No. 5 seed and play New Orleans, with the Pelicans having home-court advantage.
The first two seeds in the Western Conference are all but locked up. But the Wolves are one of eight teams battling for the third through eight seeds. Only 3 1/2 games separate Portland, currently in third place, and Denver and Utah, which are tied for ninth.
Here’s the how the playoff race currently shapes up including game remaining (GR) for each team:
It could be a good week to catch New Orleans, which has a tough slate, playing three playoff teams in four days (although two of those are at home). The Thunder also play four games, the latter two against teams in the postseason hunt. Utah has a good chance to get into the top eight by the end of the week as it plays three games against teams on the wrong side of the playoff line and all at home.
Portland: Monday – vs. Miami; Thursday – vs. Cleveland; Saturday – vs. Detroit; Sunday – at L.A. Clippers
New Orleans: Tuesday – vs. Charlotte; Thursday — at Spurs; Saturday — vs. Houston; Sunday — vs. Boston
Minnesota: Tuesday — at Washington; Saturday — at San Antonio; Sunday — vs. Houston
Oklahoma City: Monday — vs. Sacramento; Tuesday — at Atlanta; Friday — vs. L.A. Clippers; Sunday — at Toronto
San Antonio: Monday — at Houston; Tuesday — vs. Orlando; Thursday — vs. New Orleans; Saturday — vs. Minnesota
L.A. Clippers: Tuesday — at Chicago; Thursday — vs. Houston; Friday — at Oklahoma City; Sunday — vs. Portland
Denver: Tuesday — at L.A. Lakers; Thursday — vs. Detroit; Saturday — at Memphis
Utah: Tuesday — vs. Detroit; Thursday — vs. Phoenix; Saturday — vs. Sacramento
THE WOLVES PERSPECTIVE
Minnesota has what can easily be considered a tough week. The Wolves start off at Washington (38-29, current 5 seed in East) then finish up with a back-to-back against the Spurs and Rockets. The first two of those games are on the road, where Minnesota is just 13-21 this season.
The Wolves fell to the Wizards at home 92-89 on Nov. 28 in their only matchup this season. Minnesota is 1-1 against San Antonio (losing on the road) and 0-3 vs. Houston.
The website playoffstatus.com currently calculates Minnesota’s playoff chances for each seed as the following:
3 – 21 percent
4 – 26 percent
5 – 19 percent
6 – 13 percent
7 – 9 percent
8 – 6 percent
Out – 5 percent