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Wolves vs. Nuggets: From the Lowest of Lows to the Mile High City

The Wolves enter Denver with the longest losing streak in the NBA

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Wolves vs. Nuggets
8pm CT

Here we go. We’ve hit the point in the season that every seasoned Wolves fan knew deep down would eventually reveal itself. Season after season the Minnesota Timberwolves’ success has been shadowed closely by a propensity to abruptly about-face and spiral downhill.

Well, we’ve hit that mark fairly early this year. Following a pipe dream of a start, the Wolves just dropped one at home against a New Orleans Pelicans team that had lost in overtime the night before for their league-leading 13th straight loss. With the Wolves now holding the longest losing streak in the NBA, it’s what happens next that really matters. The Wolves have 56 games left this season and they are well within striking distance of the eighth seed in the West, a conference that is in complete disarray.

The transition that the Western Conference standings is currently witnessing leaves plenty of opportunity for Minnesota to squeeze into the playoffs, but with an eight-game losing streak hovering over this team it could be difficult to capitalize on that opportunity tonight when they visit the three-seed Denver Nuggets.

With both Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) and Jarrett Culver (illness) listed as questionable for a matchup against a healthy Denver team, tonight’s fixings have the potential for disaster.

The Nuggets boast one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios in the league with offensive threats littered up and down the roster. Nikola Jokic is a big, doughy force in his own right, and Jamal Murray is always gunning to remind the Wolves of what they could have had. Success for Minnesota starts with containing those two players, but it ends with covering off on Denver’s ancillary pieces like Jerami Grant and Gary Harris.

Towns, if he plays, will have his hands full with Jokic, who essentially runs the point from the elbow for Denver. There’s a mysterious energy between these two players that of course seems to agitate Towns more than Jokic. It’s hard to get a grasp on, but it feels like the Joel Embiid situation if Embiid had so much contempt for KAT that he didn’t even pay him any mind. Again, if KAT plays, his mentality with this matchup is going to be a determining factor.

Projected Starters

Jarrett Culver
Josh Okogie
Andrew Wiggins
Robert Covington
Gorgui Dieng

Jamal Murray
Gary Harris
Will Barton
Paul Millsap
Nikola Jokic

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