Playoff watch: Chance for Wolves to create some cushion

Playoff watch: Chance for Wolves to create some cushion

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to end a 13-year NBA playoff drought. There’s no certainty yet of this happening and things have definitely gotten more interesting over the last week.

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! But Minnesota would be the No. 8 seed and play top-seeded Houston, with the Rockets having home-court advantage. Welp.

 

STANDINGS

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. While Minnesota might currently be the eighth seed, the Wolves are only one-half game behind three teams and trail No. 4 seed Oklahoma City by just 1 1/2 games.

Here’s the how the playoff race currently shapes up including game remaining (GR) for each team:

TEAM W L PCT GR
Houston 56 14 .800 12
Golden State 53 17 .757 12
Portland 44 26 .629 12
Oklahoma City 43 29 .597 10
Utah 40 30 .571 12
New Orleans 40 30 .571 12
San Antonio 40 30 .571 12
Minnesota 40 31 .563 11
Denver 38 32 .543 12
LA Clippers 37 32 .536 13

THIS WEEK

If you’re nervous about Minnesota’s playoff chances, this could be a good week for them to pull away a bit from teams currently outside the postseason. Both Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers play exclusively on the road this week. The Nuggets play three times, twice against Eastern Conference playoff teams. The Wolves will host the Clippers, who then head east to play three playoff teams.

Looking up, San Antonio faces four playoff teams, although three at home. New Orleans plays four games, although against mixed competition, while Utah has to finish on the road against the Spurs and Golden State.

Portland: Tuesday — vs. Houston; Friday — vs. Boston; Sunday — at Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City: Tuesday — at Boston; Friday — vs. Miami; Sunday — vs. Portland

Utah: Tuesday — vs. Atlanta; Thursday — at Dallas; Friday — at San Antonio; Sunday — at Golden State

New Orleans: Tuesday – vs. Dallas; Wednesday — vs. Indiana; Thursday — at LA Lakers; Saturday — at Houston

San Antonio: Monday — vs. Golden State; Wednesday — vs. Washington; Friday — vs. Utah; Sunday — at Milwaukee

Minnesota: Tuesday — vs. LA Clippers; Friday — at New York; Saturday — at Philadelphia

Denver: Monday — at Miami; Wednesday — at Chicago; Friday — at Washington

L.A. Clippers: Tuesday — at Minnesota; Wednesday — at Milwaukee; Friday — at Indiana; Sunday — at Toronto

 

THE WOLVES PERSPECTIVE

After having to play three tough playoff teams last week, Minnesota “only” has to face two this week. Luckily, the first is at home against the Clippers, who the Wolves have beaten in all three matchups this season (albeit Jimmy Butler played in all three). Minnesota then heads east to play the moribund Knicks and surging 76ers. Earlier this season at home, the Wolves beat New York and lost to Philadelphia in overtime. Philadelphia has lost its last three games to teams with winning records.

 

PLAYOFF ODDS

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

3 – 6 percent (last week: 21 percent)

4 – 22 percent (last week: 26 percent)

5 – 26 percent (last week: 19 percent)

6 – 19 percent (last week: 13 percent)

7 – 15 percent (last week: 9 percent)

8 – 11 percent (last week: 6 percent)

Out – 5 percent (last week: 5 percent)

 



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