It’s a busy night in the NBA. The Wolves have a game at 6 p.m. against the Wizards, so above all, you should be watching that on Fox Sports North or listening on 830 WCCO.
But let’s roll through six other games that impact the Wolves and the Western Conference Playoff race.
The Wolves go into the night with a 39-29 record, sixth in the West.
Thunder at Hawks, 6:30 p.m., League Pass
It’s the second night of a back-to-back for the Thunder against a Hawks team that is eyeing 2018-19.
The Thunder go into the game with a 40-29 record, fourth in the West and just a half game ahead of the Wolves. An upset here seems unlikely, but hey, basketball is weird. The Wolves have the 3-1 season series tiebreaker over the Thunder.
He might not be a huge difference maker, but I’m a big fan of Hawks rookie power forward John Collins, who is averaging 10.3 points and seven rebounds per game. He doesn’t get a lot of love among rookies, but definitely should.
Clippers at Bulls, 7 p.m., League Pass
With the sudden fall of the Spurs and some hot play for the Clippers, LA finds itself in the seven spot in the West with a 36-29 record, just 1.5 games back from the Wolves.
Sweet Lou Williams has been guiding the Clippers, hitting 20 or more points in seven of his last nine games.
Who would have thought the Clippers would be making this type of run after the Blake Griffin trade?
Hornets at Pelicans, 7 p.m., League Pass
The Pellies lead the Wolves in the standings by just 0.2 percentage points and the Wolves have the 4-0 season series tiebreaker. It could come down to it.
New Orleans has lost two-straight games, both at home. This game, while not the toughest, is no guarantee. Steve Clifford’s squad always brings the effort. You might not like Dwight Howard, but he’s had a bit of a resurgence in Charlotte, averaging 16.1 points (highest since 2013-14) and 12.1 rebounds per game.
Magic at Spurs, 7:30 p.m., League Pass
The Spurs are strug-a-ling.
San Antonio has lost 11 of its last 14 games, including last night on the road against the Rockets.
Kawhi Leonard is still out. The Magic have only won 20 games this season, but I honestly have no idea what to expect from the Spurs, who beat the Grizzlies by just two points at home a week ago.
The Spurs sit in 10th in the West with a 37-30 record, 1.5 games back from the Wolves.
Pistons at Jazz, 8 p.m., League Pass
Utah has the same 37-30 record in San Antonio, but the feelings for each club is completely different. The Jazz have won six-straight games, four coming on the road.
The Blake Griffin experiment in Detroit is not going well. Detroit has lost seven of its last nine games. This is the start of a six-game road trip for the Pistons, who are five games back from the playoffs.
Things don’t look good in the Motor City.
Nuggets at Lakers, 9:30 p.m. NBA TV
Welcome to the 37-30 party! The Nuggets also have that record and sit in ninth place. This is a tricky team to figure out.
The Nuggets have beat the Cavaliers and lost to the Mavericks this month. I don’t understand. But they’ve won two straight and if both Utah and LA win, Denver will need to keep on the pace in a game it should be favored in.
However, the Lakers just beat the Cavaliers on Sunday, too, so who knows?