Good morning friends. I hope you’re all having a wonderful Friday morning. Let’s talk a little hoops, yeah?
Part of the nature of cheering for a .500 team is that there are just going to be countless peaks and valleys. I could go through all of the examples this season, but off the top of my head, the season was over after the three-game losing streak to the Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets, and Golden State Warriors, and then the Wolves were a lock to get up to the fifth-seed after winning three straight against the LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Sacramento Kings. Then it was over again after Anthony Edwards got hurt in Chicago and the team lost five of six, and now once again the vibes are high after two straight wins and Karl-Anthony Towns is back. Such is life in the NBA.
This goes without saying, but it’s a whole lot more fun to to ride this rollercoaster while it’s on the upswing than the downswing. As we enter play today, the Wolves are alone in 7th. It’s been somewhat of a fool’s errand to bother with tracking the seeds because of how tight everyone is, but we are reaching a point where, eventually, these have to matter with just a handful of games left for each team, so let’s take a look at the lay of the land.
The Wolves are a game behind the Warriors for 6th, and are a half-game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, Lakers, and Oklahoma City Thunder. They’re up a full-game on the 12th seeded Utah Jazz. Utah hosts the Milwaukee Bucks tonight, which should in theory work in the Wolves favor. Dallas hosts Charlotte, which you might as well chalk one up in the win column for Dallas already. Golden State hosts the Philadelphia 76ers, but they are heavily favored as James Harden and Joel Embiid are listed as QUESTIONABLE. To end the night, the Lakers and Thunder play each other, which as far as I’m concerned, is just nice to guarantee one of those teams will lose.
Got all of that?
Tracking this can be exhausting, but we’re on the upswing, and that’s all that really matters right now. The joy with which KAT played with on Wednesday night truly could be felt throughout Target Center. You can tell he’s missed playing with his teammates badly, and is so excited to be back out there. He also looked pretty good at this whole basketball thing, too. Who knew?
Anyways, this has been a rollercoaster. I’m as guilty of doing the above standings and scoreboard watching as everyone else, but part of the exercise of typing it all out was to illustrate how impossible it all is. Aside from the randomness of NBA basketball in general, keeping up with who is and is not playing each night is just too hard.
My advice is just to try to enjoy these last few weeks as much as you can. This season isn’t going to meet the regular season expectations that we all had coming into the season, but the Wolves are going into the stretch run more or less healthy (with the assumption Anthony Edwards will return Sunday) with a shot. A chip and a chair, you might say.