It’s holiday season here at SB Nation. While most of you are probably frantically putting up your decorations, loading up on immense amounts of eggnog and finishing last minute shopping, the NBA bloggers at SB Nation are busy as well, compiling detailed Christmas wish lists for their favorite teams.
Maybe the Golden State Warriors want an unlimited data plan for all of Kevin Durant’s burner phones. Or maybe the Chicago Bulls just want peace on Earth... and in their locker room (h/t Eric in Madison). Whatever the franchise, one thing is clearly evident: each of your favorite NBA teams has some specific items on their Christmas list, and the Wolves are no different.
Like a spoiled child, most of the Wolves Christmas gifts were delivered early this year. Superstar talent in his prime? Unwrapped June 22, 2017. New work clothes? Stocked and stuffed at your local team store. How about a brand new house? Well, Santa has never been one to lavishly overspend, so a much-needed facelift to the current residence will have to do.
With all those gifts already being enjoyed by Wolves nation, what else could the franchise and their fanbase possibly want this Christmas? One simple thing:
Ho-Ho-Home Court (in the playoffs)
After a gritty performance last night against the Denver Nuggets, the Wolves (19-13) currently find themselves sitting 4th in the Western Conference standings, 2.5 games ahead of the 5th place Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Denver Nuggets.
All three of those teams (in addition to the Utah Jazz) make up the NBA’s Northwest division, a division that has brought great despair to the Wolves for many years, until now:
After losing 30 of 37 vs. division opponents, Wolves have now won 11 of their last 16.— Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) December 21, 2017
MIN is 6-1 vs. division this season.
In addition to a 6-1 mark against division opponents, the Wolves are a league-leading 16-6 so far this season against Western Conference opponents, with only one blemish on their home record against a team from the west (I still can’t comprehend how the Wolves lost to the Suns this past Saturday. Some statement).
So why home court advantage for the Wolves this Christmas? Because after watching just 32 games of the Jimmy Butler era, simply sneaking into the playoffs is no longer enough.
Going into tonight, the Wolves currently have the 7th best overall record, 5th best offense (109.1 offensive rating), potentially two All-Stars (although I’m dubious on KAT’s chances), and are on pace for their first 50 win season since Ervin “Not So Magic” Johnson laced up his Wolves sneakers back in 2003-2004.
Yes, everyone who follows this team knows about the thirteen year playoff drought. And because of that, simply limping into the playoffs just to watch four lousy games against the defending champion Warriors or two measly home games against the scorching hot Houston Rockets isn’t enough.
While not on the level of the Dubs, Rockets, or Spurs, this team has shown through more than a quarter of the season that they have enough talent to make some real noise in April (and possibly May), and it all starts with securing home court in the first round. Santa, don’t let us down.
What say you, Wolves fans? Are there any other items that need to be on the Wolves Christmas list this year?