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.
IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY
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:
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
THE WOLVES PERSPECTIVE
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 playoffstatus.com 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)