The Timberwolves are in Danger of Missing the Playoffs… Again.
For many Timberwolves’ fans (including myself), Thursday was viewed as somewhat of a shit-show. On top of the on the court defeat, Tom Thibodeau, and company, made the unpopular decision to acquire PG Derrick Rose. They might as well call us CoLe ALdrich with those two L’s.
The (38-29) Timberwolves will be in action again, Sunday afternoon. With the world-champion Warriors coming to town, don’t hold your breathe on MN snapping their three-game losing streak. However, on the bright side of things (sorry, Steph), the best shooter of all-time will be sidelined.
Steph Curry ankles are made of Derrick Rose
— #Raywood (@ThePassionOfRay) March 9, 2018
One minute you’re tied for third in the West, and talking home-court advantage. The next, Jimmy Butler is out and you’ve dropped to sixth (Spurs have better win %), in aggressively quick fashion, . Damnit! As Tupac said, “things changed.”
After Sunday’s game vs. Golden State, the immediate future doesn’t get any brighter. This tough part of the schedule will conclude with contests in Washington and San Antonio, before wrapping up at Target Center vs. the Rockets.
On March 17, the Wolves will play in San Antonio. The next day, we’re home vs. Houston.
I don’t get that logic, but who the hell am I.
— Johnny Minnesota (@TheJohnnyMN) February 22, 2018
What kind of geographically challenged individual made that decision?
Anywho, like when tomorrow morning’s hangover starts to cease, the Wolves will eventually experience some relief. Actually, when you look at the entire slate of remaining contests (15 games), it’s not that painful. Out of the other top nine teams in the West, five of them (Portland, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Los Angeles) have a more difficult remaining strength of schedule.
I was extremely encouraged (and surprised) to see that both ESPN and Basketball-Reference listed (as of Friday) Minnesota with an 88% chance of reaching the postseason. That feeling went away when I noticed that each of them gave the Raptors over a 23% chance to win the NBA finals. To me, that seems like some fraud-ass numbers.
Naturally, how the season wraps up will largely depend on the status of Jimmy Butler. Per TNT, coach Thibodeau wouldn’t put a timetable on the All-Star’s return. Despite saying that he is thinking “long-term,” Thibs did note that “rehab is going according to, if not, better than planned.”
With that vague injury update said, if you force me to be a broke-ass version of Nostradomus, Minnesota barely gimps themselves into the post-season.
Assuming that forecast comes to fruition, snapping the earlier-mentioned playoff hiatus will be a blessing. On the glass-half empty side of things, a first-round shellacking at the hands of Houston or Golden State doesn’t sound too appealing either.
Regardless of my not overly confident prediction, time will only tell what the hell happens. Over the next few weeks, keep your eyes on the NBA standings. While you check out where Minnesota sits, don’t forget to stay woke on those Oklahoma City Thunder:
Worth noting: OKC owes its 2018 first-round pick to Minnesota (top-14 protected) and its 2020 first-round pick to Orlando (top-20 protected)
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) September 23, 2017