Tom Thibodeau isn't the kind of coach that will make an excuse if the Wolves lose to the Nuggets Wednesday and miss the playoffs for a 14th consecutive season.
Anyone that tries to come up with an excuse will be foolish, because there's one very clear reason why the Wolves are fighting for their playoff lives rather than preparing for their first playoff game in more than 5,000 days:
They laid egg after egg against the worst teams in the NBA.
Look no further than a story we published on Feb. 10, saying the "Wolves can blame themselves when they lose home-court advantage."
Little did we know that they would sink all the way to eighth place and be where they are 81 games into the season, but it's their unacceptable number of losses to bad teams that has them in a horrible position.
To be exact, there were eight of them.
- Nov. 11: 118-110 loss at Phoenix
- Dec. 4: 95-92 loss at Memphis
- Dec. 16: 108-106 home loss to Phoenix
- Jan. 3: 98-97 loss at Brooklyn
- Jan. 16: 108-102 loss at Orlando
- Jan. 29: 105-100 loss at Atlanta
- Feb. 9: 114-113 loss at Chicago
- Mar. 26: 101-93 home loss to Memphis
Only nine teams will finish 2017-18 with fewer than 30 wins, and the Wolves went a combined 15-8 against them, with 6 of the 8 losses coming in a stretch from Dec. 4 to Feb. 9.
Imagine if the Wolves had won just four of those eight losses. They'd be 50-32 and would've clinched the 3-seed.
So toss out the "Jimmy Butler hurt his knee" excuse and any other explanation because this is all there is: eight inexcusable losses to NBA bottom feeders.
Let's go all the way back to early September when we chatted with Wolves guard Jamal Crawford. He had no doubt the Wolves would be a top-four seed.
"I have no doubt we'll be a top-four seed, it's just about how the chemistry goes. Sometimes that's underrated. So guys have to feel each other out and everything, but I have no doubts about it with the character guys we have we'll figure it out."
It's sad that Minnesota has zero shot at home-court advantage in the first round, and fans should be infuriated that they're on the brink of being eliminated.