With 2 games left against Denver, Wolves' season could go either way

The odds of them falling out of the top eight are pretty low.
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Sunday's blowout loss to Ricky Rubio and the Jazz knocked the Wolves from 5th to 7th in the playoff race and in a position of vulnerability with the Nuggets breathing down their neck. 

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Ricky Rubio torches the Wolves in crucial game

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Minnesota also has to worry about the Pelicans, but it's the Nuggets that are cause for concern considering they now control their own destiny after back-to-back overtime wins against the Thunder and Bucks. 

The Wolves are 1.5 games ahead of Denver, but two of their final four games are head-to-head, and if Denver wins both the end result could lead to a playoff-less season for a 14th straight year. 

PlayoffStatus.com puts the odds of it happening at just 5 percent, but in a scenario where the Wolves finish 46-36 (or worse) it's possible. Here's the two things that would need to happen in such a scenario. 

– Denver beats Minnesota twice and wins two additional games to finish 47-35, or they beat the Wolves twice and beat Portland next Monday to finish 46-36. In the second scenario they would win the tiebreaker over Minnesota based on a better record within the division. 

This would also be required to knock the Wolves from the playoffs. 

– New Orleans wins four of its last five games (Grizzlies, Suns, Warriors, Clippers, Spurs) to finish 47-35. A tie with Minnesota isn't good enough because they went 0-4 against the Wolves this season. 

The Clippers cannot catch the Wolves if the Wolves reach 46 wins. 

So, yeah, the Wolves are still in a pretty good position. 

Wolves remaining schedule: 

  • Thursday, at Nuggets
  • Friday, at Lakers
  • Monday, vs. Grizzlies
  • Wednesday, vs. Nuggets

Nuggets remaining schedule: 

  • Tuesday, vs. Pacers
  • Thursday, vs. Wolves
  • Saturday, at Clippers
  • Monday, vs. Blazers
  • Wednesday, at Wolves

On the flip side, the Wolves are only 1.5 games behind the 4th-place Spurs, although catching them seems less likely even if the Wolves go 4-0 down the stretch to finish 48-34. 

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