The Timberwolves are back in action Friday night as they travel to Toronto to play the Raptors. It's a big game for the slumping Wolves, who haven't been above .500 since Nov. 23 when they were 8-7.
Minnesota is nearly halfway through the season, and sitting two games below .500 (18-20) hasn't convinced head coach Rick Adelman that the Wolves are a playoff team.
“We’ve got to face fact that we’re a .500 team,” he told the Star Tribune. “Right now we’re below .500. I told them today that if you think you’re a playoff team why don’t you just forget it, because you haven’t proven that you are. You haven’t gone out and really established yourself yet. You make some changes, and it looks good on paper, but it means nothing.’’
Minnesota's ongoing woes in close games reared its ugly head again in a loss to the Kings on Wednesday. Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders told 1500 ESPN that the consistent late-game struggles remind him of the definition of insanity.
"It's the definition of insanity, doing things over and over and expecting different results," Saunders said. "And we've continued to play the same way in those close games and have been getting the same results."
Kevin Love said the "clock is ticking" on their playoff chances.
Friday's matchup with the Raptors may sound like a slump-buster, but Toronto is actually solid this season. At 19-18, they lead the Atlanta Division – and they've won seven of 10 games since trading former All-Star Rudy Gay. Gay scored 33 points for the Kings against the Wolves.
The rest of January also looks tough. Minnesota plays home games against the Jazz, Pelicans and Grizzlies, and road games against the Jazz, Warriors, Trail Blazers and Bulls.