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It could get worse before it gets better for the Wolves

The latest meltdown has the Wolves well below .500 with a gauntlet of a schedule ahead.
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They opened the season as one of the NBA's up and coming teams. Full of expectation and playoff dreams. As it stands, reality bites.

This has been exactly the kind of start the Timberwolves did not want. Four wins in 13 games. Games blown in which they’ve led by 14 points five times. In fact, those five should-have-been-wins would have turned this story around where the Wolves would be sitting at 9-4 instead of 4-9. But now, Minnesota is already five games under .500 with a schedule ahead that could derail their season completely.

Job one is winning the games against teams you should beat. That would be at New Orleans and Phoenix on Wednesday and Friday, both of whom reside below the Wolves in the standings.

Then comes the gauntlet.

Saturday in Oakland against defending Western Conference champion Golden State. Then the vastly improved Utah Jazz, then twice against the Knicks at Target Center and Madison Square Garden. After that it's one of the Eastern Conference's most improved teams, Charlotte.

Minnesota's lack of consistency will then be tested by San Antonio, which hasn't missed a beat with the retirement of Tim Duncan, and then a really good Toronto team. The gauntlet wraps up with games against Detroit, Golden State, the Bulls, Rockets, Suns, Hawks, Kings and Thunder.

Between this Saturday and Christmas, Minnesota will play 14 games, ten of which are against teams currently in playoff position. Six of those 10 teams will have home court advantage and that’s not good considering the Wolves are 1-5 on the road.

  • vs. Utah
  • vs. NY Knicks
  • @ NY Knicks
  • @ Charlotte
  • vs. San Antonio
  • @ Toronto
  • vs. Detroit
  • vs. Golden State
  • @ Chicago
  • vs. Houston
  • vs. Phoenix
  • @ Atlanta
  • vs. Sacramento
  • @ Oklahoma City

Coach Tom Thibodeau isn't hiding his angst. In fact, Thibs has been calling out his team for weeks, for what he tells reporters, is a lack of toughness. The Wolves can't continue to lead and then give away games as they did against Boston Monday night.

“It shows you that you can never let your guard down and you have to strive to be a 48-minute team,” Thibodeau said, via Timberwolves.com. “We are not doing that right now. We have to get back in, we have to work, we have to concentrate, we have to improve.”

Between this Saturday and Christmas, Minnesota will play 14 games, ten of which are against teams currently in playoff position. Six of those 10 teams will have home court advantage and that’s not good considering the Wolves are 1-5 on the road.

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