Skip to main content

35 wins could get the Wolves into the playoffs

It'll probably take more, but 34-35 wins is the current pace of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

It's incredibly rare for a Western Conference playoff team to have a really bad record. But that looks to be changing this season.

The Denver Nuggets and their subpar .419 winning percentage (18-25) are currently in line to reach the postseason as the No. 8 seed. The Timberwolves (16-28) are just 2.5 games back, with the Blazers (19-27), Pelicans (18-27) and (Kings (17-27) tucked between them.

If you extrapolate Denver's .419 win percentage to 82 games you get 34 wins.

One of these teams will probably get hot and win more than 34, but the season is already half over and 34 is the current expectation. So the reality is that winning 35 or so games could be good enough to end Minnesota's 12-year playoff drought.

We wrote about this a couple of weeks ago. The Wolves are playing better defense and their second-half collapses are slowly disappearing. They've allowed 99 points or fewer in eight of their last 14 games, although things have been a bit leaky in two of the last three – a loss to San Antonio and a win over Denver.

They're 10-10 in their last 20. Compare that to the last 20 games for the teams they're fighting for the eight seed with:

  • Nuggets: 10-10
  • Blazers: 7-13
  • Pelicans: 10-10
  • Kings: 8-12

The Mavericks, Suns and Lakers are all within 4.5 or fewer games of Denver, too, making the Wolves-Suns Tuesday meeting in the desert even more important.

Here's a tiered look at how many wins the Wolves will finish with based on winning specific percentages of their remaining 38 games.

  • .600 = 22-23 more wins for a total of 38-39
  • .500 = 19 more wins for a total of 35 
  • .475 = 18 more wins for a total of 34

Bottom line: If the season-long trends maintain, and 34-35 wins is enough to reach the playoffs, the Wolves have to play .500 ball the rest of the way just to have a shot at making the playoffs.

Now is the time to win with nine of the next 12 at home. Then it's a brutal stretch to finish the season with 17 of the final 26 games on the road.

Things don't look as optimistic if you extrapolate Minnesota's home and road splits. Based on those, they're are on pace to win 7-8 of their final 18 home games and just 5-6 of their 20 remaining road games. That's a grand total of 28-30 wins at season's end.

H/T to Aaron Black for the story idea.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 4.45.15 PM

Charges: St. Cloud meth dealer had numerous weapons. body armor

Shawn Lawrence Jacobs, 38, faces 12 felony-level charges.

3100 Bloomington Ave.

South Minneapolis tenants declare rent strike; allege unsafe conditions

A group of Powderhorn Park residents say they'll withhold May rent due to health and safety concerns.

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 3.11.26 PM

Threats involving 2 students at West St. Paul middle school

Police said there is no reason to be concerned for the safety of the rest of the student body at Heritage E-Stem Magnet Middle School.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Controversial Two Harbors mayor told: Resign or face recall election

The mayor has come under scrutiny for unusual behavior this year.

Lakeville Minnesota Solar Installation - All Energy Solar

Tips for selecting a reputable solar installer

Installing solar panels is a major investment. The solar solution provider you choose should be stable and trustworthy.

3M Maplewood

3M fined $2.8M for hazardous waste violations in Cottage Grove

The company's violations spanned more than two decades.

Christopher Payne and Kaley Wethern

Couple charged after $75k worth of fentanyl pills seized during traffic stop

Christopher James Payne and Kaley Maria Wethern have been charged in the seizure.

Kellace McDaniel

Kellace McDaniel named Brooklyn Center police chief

McDaniel will officially begin his new job on Monday, June 27.

Thompson Lake, West St Paul

Twin Cities lake reopens following toilet waste spill

About 70,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the lake in mid-May.

Related

35 wins could get the Wolves into the playoffs

It'll probably take more, but 34-35 wins is the current pace of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

You should probably just consider the Wolves out of playoff contention

Based on Minnesota's difficult schedule, it's probably time to start pounding a nail in the Timberwolves' coffin.

You should probably just consider the Wolves out of playoff contention

Based on Minnesota's difficult schedule, it's probably time to start pounding a nail in the Timberwolves' coffin.

You're not crazy if you think the Wolves can still make the playoffs

Despite their bad record, the Wolves are still in the thick of the fight for the 8-seed in the Western Conference.

You're not crazy if you think the Wolves can still make the playoffs

Despite their bad record, the Wolves are still in the thick of the fight for the 8-seed in the Western Conference.

Wishful thinking about the Wolves' playoff hopes

Reality says the Wolves have little chance at the playoffs, but a more hopeful scenario could play out.

Wishful thinking about the Wolves' playoff hopes

Reality says the Wolves have little chance at the playoffs, but a more hopeful scenario could play out.

Pelicans trade for Cousins has major impact on Wolves' playoff hopes

DeMarcus Cousins alongside Anthony Davis puts the Pelicans in the driver's seat for the 8th playoff spot.