By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When the pressure of the playoff race gets cranked up this high, whataya do?

“I don’t pay attention. I don’t read newspapers, I don’t watch ESPN. I just watched Wrestlemania last night,” Jeff Teague said. “Pretty good.”

Tunnel vision aside, scoreboard watching is a reality of this race. The Wolves can clinch a playoff spot Monday night if they beat the Grizzlies, if the Nuggets lose to the Blazers and the Spurs beat the Kings.

“Our team has worked extremely hard all year, they’ve done a lot of good things. We had to withstand Jimmy being out. And we’re in a great position right now,” coach Tom Thibodeau said.

But lose Monday night and the pressure becomes even greater, with a matchup with Denver looming Wednesday night. For a young team, that’s a lot to handle.

“It’s great. This is what it’s all about. The intensity of the games, the concentration that’s necessary. That’s why everything does matter. All the habits you’ve built all season long, they come to the forefront,” Thibodeau said.

“You have to have the concentration and understand, it’s not the emotion of it. It’s the strategy of your process, OK, how do you get ready to play, whatever small task you’re asked to do, do it great and finish it.”

So here we are — 80 games down, and the two most important still to go.

“It’s a good experience for our guys. And we have work to do,” Thibodeau said. “We have two games to go, we gotta finish.”


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