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Wolves Seasonal Milestone: #6

The straw that broke the camel's back.

Minnesota entered this last nine-game stretch a mere two games out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the insanely competitive Western Conference. But a 1-6 record before sandwiching a couple of solid wins around the All Star Break was enough to make even the most optimistic of the team's followers concede their post season dreams.

Losing Pek for a while hurts; losing Martin, in theory, does as well. But as the squad showed in handling the Pacers, there's still enough "there" there to compete with the best, which makes it all the more maddening that they've blown so many chances this year.

With 27 games left to play, the Timberwolves are now entering the third act of the dramatic/comedic tale of the franchise's 25th season. Sadly, this team's been but a walking shadow, poor basketball players who strut and fret their 48 minutes upon the court and then are heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
signifying nothing.

The function of the third act in drama is to resolve the plot and tie up all the loose ends. In this case, we'll find out if the team makes the playoffs (akin to asking "will the villain prevail over James Bond, finally? We already know the answer), will they have to give their #1 pick to Phoenix, what draft pick(s) will they end up with, will the team show signs of realizing its potential, will the two rookies get any more burn, will KLove set any more records, will this be Adelman's last hurrah?

Plenty of intrigue remains. Pull up a chair and grab some popcorn.

NOTES

MN is:

  • 9th in differential (3.91)
  • 5th in strength of schedule
  • 9th in SRS
  • 9th in ORtg (108) and 7th in DRtg (104)
  • 3rd in pace
  • Four Factors (offense): 23rd in eFG%; 2nd in TOV%; 9th in ORB%; 4th in FT/FGA

Since the last milestone, the team's ORtg and DRtg are almost unchanged, despite the lack of PEK.

And, you'll be happy to learn, we are tied with Portland for 8th best record in the NBA, according to a Mr. Pythagorus (he claims we're tied for 6th in the West at 34-20).

TIMBERWOLVES - 26-28, 10th in the Western Conference (5.5 games out of 8th; they'd be tied for the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference).

LAST 9 GAMES

MEM - L

@ATL (B2B) - L

LAL - W

@OKC (B2B) - L

@NOH - L

POR (B2B) - L

HOU - L

DEN - W

IND - W

NEXT 9

@UTA

@POR

@PHO

@SAC

@DEN

NYK

DET

TOR

MIL

Projected record: 5-4. They are what they are - a .500 team. Their next 5 games are on the road, then they return for a four-game home stand against Eastern Conference teams - with not a single B2B (note: I lied - see Tmiss's note in the comments below) among these nine games.

NBA TOP TEN WATCH

PPG - Love #4

RPG - Love #2

APG - Rubio #5

SPG - Rubio #2

FT - Love #2 (tied with Harden)

FT% - Martin #4

ORs - PEK #7, Love #9

DRs - Love #2

Usage - Love #10

Win Shares - Love #3

Shabazziest - SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD #1

EX-WOLVES WATCH

Webster - .121 WS/48

Tolliver - .109 WS/48

Beasley - .098 WS/48

Kirilenko - .087 WS/48

DWill - .082 WS/48 (.019 w/MN, .092 w/SAC)

Stiemsma - .078 WS/48

Wayne - .057 WS/48

Wes - .051 WS/48

Ridnour - -.002 WS/48

Given how the season has gone for the Wolves through 54 games, I leave you with this modern classic from a Hibbing folkie:

But it's getting there...

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