Wolves could easily lose their next 8 games and fall out of the playoff race

It's a daunting schedule to start March.
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It'll likely come as a surprise to most fans, but the Wolves are fourth in the latest power rankings from NBA.com's John Shuhmann. 

Only the Rocket, Warriors and Raptors are ranked higher, which makes quite a bit of sense considering Minnesota's blowout win over the Kings on Monday night moved them ahead of the Spurs for third place in the Western Conference. 

But it wouldn't take a big fall for the Wolves to fall outside the top four, or even out of the playoffs altogether. 

Related: 

Wolves can blame themselves if they lose top-4 seed

While Houston and Golden State are running away with the top two seeds, only four games separate the Wolves and the Clippers, who sit one game out of the playoffs in ninth place entering play Tuesday. 

The race is extremely tight, and without Jimmy Butler – out indefinitely after undergoing surgery on a torn meniscus – the Wolves will have to find ways to win during an awfully challenging next three weeks. 

  • Mar. 1: at Trail Blazers, 12-5 in their last 17
  • Mar. 2: at Jazz, 12-2 in their last 14
  • Mar. 8: vs. Celtics, No. 2 seed in the East
  • Mar. 11: vs. Warriors, 251 points in 2 wins over MN
  • Mar. 13: at Wizards, 9-3 in their last 12
  • Mar. 17: at Spurs, 22-6 at home this season
  • Mar. 18: vs. Rockets, 13-game win streak
  • Mar. 20: vs. Clippers, 14-6 in their last 20

Would it be all that shocking if Minnesota loses each of their next eight games? 

The good news is that the Spurs, Clippers, Pelicans, Blazers and Thunder all have slightly more difficult remaining schedules, according to PlayoffStatus.com

Making matters worse is that half of Minnesota's remaining 18 games are on the road, where they're just 2-11 in 13 road contests since Jan. 1. 

Enjoy the 3-seed as long as possible, because every variable on the planet is begging the Wolves to go fall and fall hard in the next few weeks. 

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