MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Let’s do the math. With 20 games to go, how many more wins will the Timberwolves need to make the playoffs?
“I’d say about 12 to 14,” said shooting guard Shabazz Muhammad. “I mean…there’s teams that come up that we should take…we have to go out there and have a mindset that we want it.”
That would put Minnesota at 43 to 45 wins.
In addition to the wins, the Timberwolves would need Phoenix and/or Memphis to lose 12 to 14 games. Those teams are currently tied for the final playoff spot, and both of them are ahead of the Wolves by five games.
“Yeah, it’s realistic,” Muhammad said. “I mean, we’ll give ourselves a shot.”
After losing 111-104 to Toronto Sunday night, the Timberwolves have now lost two of their first three games on this four-game home stand. It dropped their record, once again, back to .500, at 31-31.
In five of the last six years in the Western Conference, the minimum threshold for making the playoffs has been 45 wins.
To reach that, the Wolves would need to win 14 of their final 20 games. However, in the meat grinder that is the Western Conference this year, even that might not be enough.
“You know, we just got to go out and win as many as we can,” said head coach Rick Adelman said. “‘Cause you don’t know what’s going to happen…who knows, you know? We could win 19 and still not make it.”
Most projections put this year’s threshold at 47 wins, maybe 46. That would require another 15 or 16 wins for the Wolves over their final 20 games.
“One thing we can’t allow to happen, even losing some of these games, is you’ve got to keep playing,” Adelman said. “I mean, your season’s on the line, and we want to finish the season off on a positive note, whether you get the chance to be in the playoffs or not.”