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Latest losing stretch has Wolves in next-to-last place in the West

Only the Suns have a worse record in the Western Conference.

It's a really bad season to be an inconsistent team in the Western Conference, and that's what the Wolves are nearing the halfway point of the regular season. 

Minnesota (14-17) lost in overtime to the Pistons on Wednesday night, blowing a chance to win after Robert Covington's go-ahead 3-pointer with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter. 

If the Wolves hope to make the playoffs, the yo-yo'ing has to stop. It's as simple as that in a stacked Western Conference that the Wolves are suddenly near the bottom of. Only the Suns (8-24) have a worse record.

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The Wolves finished eighth in the West last season, sneaking into the playoffs with an overtime win over Denver in the final game of regular season. But they were just a few games from being a top-four seed. 

The West is stacked again but even more competitive and tightly contested because bottom feeders like the Kings, Grizzlies and Mavericks have improved. 

Really, there's no excuses for the Wolves, who have two max contract players in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, a veteran point guard in Jeff Teague, a resurgent Derrick Rose off the bench and an All-NBA First Team defender in Robert Covington. 

It's borderline unacceptable to lose to teams with less experience, and to be blunt, teams that aren't nearly as talented from top to bottom. 

We're referring to these games: 

  • 140-136 loss at Dallas
  • 100-87 loss vs. Memphis
  • 141-130 loss at Sacramento
  • 107-99 loss at Phoenix
  • 129-123 overtime loss vs. Detroit

Those are games, even on the road, the Wolves should be winning. Win all five of those and all of a sudden Minnesota is sporting a 19-12 record and in fourth place in the West. 

Instead, they're three games below .500 and 14th in the West. 

In fairness, the Wolves have played a really tough schedule and it's hard to blame them for losses to the Blazers, Warriors, Bucks, Celtics and Raptors, but if the Wolves want to be legit, too, then they need to start winning some of those games.  

And a good starting point will be the next two on the road Friday and Sunday against the Spurs and Thunder, respectively.

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