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Final Quarter Of The Season Is Crucial For Wolves

by Kyle Ratke

Digital Content Manager


The Wolves come out of the All-Star break having played 61 games, the most of any team in the NBA.

In the final month and a half of the season, the Wolves have a unique schedule.

“It’s 21 games in 47 days,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said after Thursday’s practice. “And there’s some unusual breaks, too, in terms of we have a five-day break, we have two three-day breaks, we have four two-day breaks. For our players, most NBA players, like to play every other day. . . Whatever comes our way, we’ll have to deal with it.”

Minnesota sits at 36-25, fourth in the West, just percentage points away from the Spurs and the three seed. With Kawhi Leonard likely out for the season, there’s a huge opportunity in front of the Wolves.

The Wolves have had their ups and downs throughout the season, but if you had told them they’d be the four seed in the West after 61 games, there wouldn’t have been any complaining.

 “So far, so good,” All-Star Jimmy Butler said. “We have a winning record, so you gotta be happy about that. We’ve had a couple lapses, unhappy about that. But all and all, we get to wake up and play basketball every day with a good group of guys for a good organization, so I’m happy.”

Upcoming games for the Wolves over the next week are against the Rockets (road), Bulls (home), Kings (road) and Blazers (road). That’s two playoff teams and two non-playoff teams. If the Wolves want to hold onto that four spot, and potentially move up to the three seed, they’ll need to execute late in games and win those 50/50 games.

“I think just to be more consistent,” Jamal Crawford said. “Obviously toward the end of the season, you want to play your basketball . . . Every game means a little bit more.”

Towns Enjoys All-Star Weekend

Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns appeared in his first All-Star game over the weekend and finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for Team Stephen.

“It was a lot of fun,” Towns said. “It was a great experience. To have a chance to be on that stage on Sunday was a great honor.”

Towns and the Wolves will have their first game post All-Star break on Friday night against the Rockets in Houston. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on Fox Sports North, ESPN and 830 WCCO.

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