Playoffs? Not the way the Wolves are handling a stretch of games they need to win

Minnesota hasn't won more than four straight all season.
Publish date:
Updated on

It's over. Last season's trip to the playoffs was fun but it's not happening for a second consecutive year.

Minnesota's 122-112 loss at Orlando Thursday night was the latest disappointment, and this time around they let Terrence Ross light them up for 32 points as the Magic roasted the Wolves on 54 percent shooting. 

This just in: playoff teams don't let Terrence Ross chew them up and spit them out. 

The bad loss to the Magic comes on the heels of a game the Wolves should've won in Memphis. Instead, even without star center Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies sent Minnesota away with a critical defeat. 

KAT and company have lost five of its last six and are now 25-29, good for 13th place in the Western Conference and four games behind the eighth-place Clippers (30-26). 

Not only do the Wolves have to catch the Clippers, they also need to jump the Mavericks, Lakers and Kings. Does anyone believe the Wolves have the moxie to chase down LeBron James with the playoffs within his reach?

And let's be honest, the current top seven in the Western Conference – Warriors, Nuggets, Thunder, Blazers, Rockets, Jazz, Spurs – probably aren't falling out of the playoff picture. Reality is that the Wolves are fighting the Clippers, Lakers, Kings and Mavericks for one playoff spot. 

This week was supposed to be a week the Wolves made up some ground. Instead, they've faltered twice and now have to face the Pelicans on the road on the second night of a back-to-back. 

We wrote earlier this week that the Wolves needed to win at least eight of their final 10 games in February to have a realistic shot at the playoffs, and I still believe that to be true. Is an 8-0 in the cards? 

Don't kid yourself. This is a team that still hasn't won more than four in a row all season (they did it once), and as favorable as the rest of this month's schedule is, it's just not realistic. 

Just to finish .500 (41-41) this season the Wolves have to win 16 of their final 28 games. That's laughable the way they're playing, and .500 rarely gets a team in the West to the playoffs. It's more likely that the Wolves need about 45 wins to get in, which means they have to go 20-8 the rest of the way. 

Oh, and did we mention that 14 of their final 20 opponents (Mar. 1 through April 6) are against current playoff teams? That's also true, and it's another nail in the coffin and a step closer to another lottery pick. 

Next Up