Playoff watch: Another chance for the Wolves to clinch

The Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to end a 13-year NBA playoff drought, but with the Wolves in the middle of a tightly-contest race in the Western Conference, nothing is certain.

With the end of the regular season just a few days away, here’s the latest look at Minnesota’s playoff chances and the week ahead.



Playoff drought over! Minnesota would be the No. 8 seed and take on the Houston Rockets, who would have home-court advantage.



Houston, Golden State, Portland and Utah have clinched, but it’s a logjam from fifth on down: just one game separates fifth-place New Orleans and ninth-place Denver, with San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Minnesota (in that order) in between. Here’s the how the playoff race currently shapes up including game remaining (GR) for each team:

Houston 64 16 .800 2
Golden State 58 23 .716 1
Portland 48 32 .600 2
Utah 47 33 .588 2
New Orleans 46 34 .575 2
San Antonio 46 34 .575 2
Oklahoma City 46 34 .575 2
Minnesota 45 35 .563 2
Denver 45 35 .563 2


The Clippers are out, but — somehow — just about anything could happen over the next three days. The Jazz are in after knocking off the Lakers on Sunday night, but things are still up in the air for everyone else. Oklahoma City, San Antonio and New Orleans could all clinch Monday night with wins.


New Orleans: Monday — at L.A. Clippers; Wednesday — vs. San Antonio

San Antonio: Monday — vs. Sacramento; Wednesday — at New Orleans

Oklahoma City: Monday — at Miami; Wednesday — vs. Memphis

Minnesota: Monday — vs. Memphis; Wednesday — vs. Denver

Denver: Monday — vs. Portland; Wednesday — at Minnesota



Minnesota could clinch Monday night if the Wolves beat Memphis, San Antonio beats Sacramento and Portland beats Denver. The Wolves currently hold the tiebreaker over Denver, but the two teams meet for just the second time this year Wednesday in the final game of the regular season. There’s a small chance the Wolves could win out and finish as high as fourth, but eighth place is still looking likely.



The website currently calculates Minnesota’s playoff chances for each seed as the following:

4 – 4 percent (last week: 9 percent)

5 – 15 percent (last week: 27 percent)

6 – 19 percent (last week: 27 percent)

7 – 17 percent (last week: 21 percent)

8 – 27 percent (last week: 12 percent)

Out – 19 percent (last week: 5 percent)