FanPost

Wolves Can Make the Playoffs; Here's How.

To make the playoffs, we are going to need some help. Supposing Denver finishes in 7th place, the teams we'd be competing with for the 8th spot would be Phoenix, Utah, and Houston.

If we are tied with one other team, we have the tie-breaker against Houston. Utah has the tie-breaker over us, so we will wishfully hope they go 5-8 the rest of the way. With Phoenix, the April 9 game at Target Center will determine the tie-breakers.

If the Timberwolves go 8-4 (schedule), and we beat Phoenix, we would need the following scenario to happen.

The first set of numbers is projected W-L record in remaining games. The second is their projected total record.

Team

PW

PL

TW

TL

Pct.

Proj. Rank

Denver Nuggets

6

7

35

31

0.530

7

Minnesota Timberwolves

8

4

33

33

0.500

8.1

Houston Rockets

5

8

33

33

0.500

8.2

Phoenix Suns

7

7

33

33

0.500

8.2

Utah Jazz

5

8

32

34

0.485

11

If we lose to Phoenix, but still finish 8-4, the tie-breaker becomes more complicated. The first tie-breaker, when more than two teams are tied, is better winning percentage in all games among the tied teams. The Rockets, Wolves, and Suns against each other would all be 3-3.

The Suns have a brutal schedule from here on out. According to SRS, they are the underdogs in all but one of their remaining 14 games, so there's a decent chance that they won't even go 7-7 the rest of the way.

For comparison, the Wolves are favored in 6 out of their last 12 games, and the Rockets are favored in 6 out of 13, so that's a slight advantage for the Wolves.

The next tie-breaker, when more than two teams are tied, is better winning percentage against teams in own conference.

The first set of numbers is current conference rank and record. The second is projected record in remaining intra-conference games, and the third is their projected total conference record.

Rank

Team

CW

CL

CPct.

PW

PL

TCW

TCL

TPct.

8

Houston

18

19

0.486

5

7

23

26

0.469

10

Phoenix

16

18

0.471

7

7

23

25

0.479

12

Minnesota

19

19

0.500

7

3

26

22

0.542

So, in summary, if the Wolves can somehow squeeze into a three-way tie for the 8th spot with Houston and Phoenix, they are in good position to win tie-breakers, even if they are tied with two other teams. The challenge is in winning 8 of 12 to finish the year.

If we win all six of the games we are favored in, at Sacramento, Golden State (home and away), at New Orleans, at Detroit and Phoenix, we still have to win two more games. Either we beat the Nuggets twice, or we beat Denver once and win at least one game against Memphis, Indiana, the L.A. Clippers, or OKC.

Date

@

Opponent

OPP SRS

T-Wolves SRS

Odds

Mon Apr 2 2012

Away

Sacramento Kings

-5.05

-0.13

Fav

Wed Apr 4 2012

Home

Golden State Warriors

-2.09

-0.13

Fav

Sat Apr 7 2012

Away

New Orleans Hornets

-3.97

-0.13

Fav

Mon Apr 9 2012

Home

Phoenix Suns

-0.43

-0.13

Fav

Wed Apr 11 2012

Away

Denver Nuggets

1.77

-0.13

Dog

Thu Apr 12 2012

Home

Los Angeles Clippers

2.7

-0.13

Dog

Sat Apr 14 2012

Home

Oklahoma City Thunder

7.12

-0.13

Dog

Mon Apr 16 2012

Away

Indiana Pacers

1.89

-0.13

Dog

Tue Apr 17 2012

Home

Memphis Grizzlies

1.78

-0.13

Dog

Thu Apr 19 2012

Away

Detroit Pistons

-5.84

-0.13

Fav

Sun Apr 22 2012

Home

Golden State Warriors

-2.09

-0.13

Fav

Thu Apr 26 2012

Home

Denver Nuggets

1.77

-0.13

Dog

Will we make it? With the injuries we have sustained, I think it's a stretch, but it's not as outlandish as it might seem.

As the saying goes, "That's why they play the games!"

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