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.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

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.

Next Up

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

flickr-mall-of-america-mitchell-hirsch-march-2019

When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.

Minnesota_Welcome_Sign_-_Minnesota_Welcomes_You_-_Taylors_Falls_(28269804891)

Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.

Texa-Tonka

Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

Related

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.

Wolves better win early because after Black Friday the schedule gets nasty

The first 15 games look good on paper, but after Thanksgiving the Wolves have a daunting stretch of games.

Wolves better win early because after Black Friday the schedule gets nasty

The first 15 games look good on paper, but after Thanksgiving the Wolves have a daunting stretch of games.

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.

Dare we say, a winning streak is coming for the Wolves?

The schedule should allow the Wolves to climb closer to .500 over the next month.

Dare we say, a winning streak is coming for the Wolves?

The schedule should allow the Wolves to climb closer to .500 over the next month.

5 things to see before the Wolves open the season

The excitement level for the Wolves might be at an all-time high.