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It’s that time of the week again, folks. This week, we’re going to dive into where the Wolves will ultimately end up in the Western Conference, which is quickly devolving into a stand-off in an old western saloon with 11 different teams all aiming pistols at each other simultaneously.
Here’s a look at the latest standings, featuring just a six-game difference between the No. 3 seed Sacramento Kings and the No. 13 seed Los Angeles Lakers.
Presently, the Timberwolves lot in at the No. 6 spot after a leap-frogging 119-114 win over the No. 7 Golden State Warriors.
Minnesota has four wins in its last five games against the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and now the defending champs, in the middle of a 11-game stretch featuring 10 opponents near or above the Wolves in the standings. After a pause to take on the up and coming Orlando Magic on Friday, Anthony Edwards and the Timberwolves will play a home and home with the Denver Nuggets, at the Utah Jazz, and then close with a game at the grind house in Memphis and the final matchup of the year against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Wolves have the fourth most difficult remaining schedule according to Tankathon. With 28 games to go, they still have to face the Boston Celtics once, Nuggets twice, Philadelphia 76ers once, Grizzlies once, Brooklyn Nets twice and Kings once; they also have games against the tanking San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Hornets, and mediocre squads like the Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls and Lakers. 17 of their final 28 are on the road, including two West Cast trips against playoff-caliber opponents.
Although it is an uphill climb, Minnesota should get Karl-Anthony Towns (right calf strain) back at some point later this month or early next month, which would be a big win both for improving their position in the standings but also for their playoff viability as well.
With all that in mind, where do you think the Wolves will finish in the standings?