As the holidays fade and the new year rings in, so will the push for the playoffs.
The Wild have eyes on a deep Stanley Cup run. The Vikings are on vacation. And the Wolves are now making noises of their spring intentions.
Don't scoff. As crazy as it might sound and taking into account the Wolves' terrible start, only four games currently separate the Wolves from the Western Conference's eighth seed. Sacramento holds it with a 14-17 record while the Wolves sit at 10-21. Denver, Portland, New Orleans and the Lakers stand between the Wolves and the eighth seed.
Winners in three of the past five, Minnesota can help it's own cause in head-to-head match-ups this week. The Wolves are in Denver Wednesday night and on New Year's day, Portland plays at Target Center. In fact, the schedule for the next couple of weeks could allow the Wolves to gain some ground.
- at Denver
- vs. Milwaukee
- vs. Portland
- at Philadelphia
- at Washington
- vs. Utah
- vs. Dallas
- vs. Houston
- vs. Oklahoma City
Denver isn't as talented as the Wolves and Portland has lost 9 of 10. Milwaukee is tough but Philly and Washington are very winnable. Utah is getting healthier, just adding Derrick Favors back to the starting lineup on Tuesday. Dallas is bad while Houston and OKC are very tough.
Fifty-one games remain and the Wolves control their road to the playoffs. Consider that a New Year's resolution.