Getty Images

Having Earning A Winning Record, Wolves Ready To Continue Building

by Julian Andrews
Web Editorial Associate Follow

The Wolves are over .500 and they aren’t looking back.

Minnesota has a record of 13-12 and it is 9-3 in its last 12 games. While the Wolves still hold just the No. 10 spot in the West, things can change at the drop of a dime. When they take the court against Portland on Saturday, the Wolves could very well have risen into a playoff spot. 

It’s hard to ignore how well the Wolves have played since trading for Robert Covington and Dario Saric. The Wolves have had the second-best defensive rating (101.4) in the league since Nov. 11, their first game after the trade. In that same span, they hold the 11th-best offensive rating and are top 10 in assist percentage. 

But right now, it’s more important to look forward than back.

The Wolves have played 10 of their last 12 games at home, where they’ve historically performed very well. That ends on Saturday, when the Wolves go into Portland, another very tough place to play, to take on the Blazers in a game with huge standings implications for both teams. The Blazers are in a slump right now—whether you chalk that up to a Wolves advantage or if a motivated and hungry Portland team scares you is up to you, but the Wolves certainly have to talent to beat the Blazers with how they’re playing now.

After their trip to Portland, the Wolves move down the coast to Oracle Arena to play the Warriors, who are 2-2 in their last four having dropped games to the Pistons and Raptors. We don’t need to say much about that contest, it’s the Warriors. After Golden State, the Wolves play the Kings and Suns in two games that should definitely be victories but also have the look of trap games on the road. Of all the games on this trip, the contests in Portland and Sacramento jump out—they’ll be tough ones to win but victories would be huge in solidifying the Wolves’ standing in the West. Right now, the Kings are 12-11 and the Blazers are 13-11. These are the types of wins that come in very handy come April.

Winning is a different animal on the road, but the Wolves’ victory over the Hornets and the comeback versus Houston on Monday night paint a picture of a team that plays with remarkable composure even when things get tough. It’s hard not to have confidence when you see the Wolves high-fiving and smiling on the bench as the clock winds down on yet another win. 

There’s no one way to define exactly what a “good trip” would look like for Minnesota. It’s fair to say that they should go at least 2-2. A loss to the Suns would be a major upset and they should be able to beat at least one of the Blazers and Kings. If they can get both, going undefeated becomes a real possibility, the Wolves have played the Warriors very tough over the years, and Karl-Anthony Towns has always had big games vs. Golden State.

This road trip will be a challenge, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s one the Wolves are ready for. Towns told fans last night that the team will be collecting quite a few more wins—right not it’s impossible not to believe him.