Wolves Playoff Watch Viewing Guide | March 6, 2018
The Wolves are off until Thursday, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any games that could impact the Wolves. In fact, with how crazy the West is, nearly every game has some sort of playoff implication.
Minnesota enters Tuesday with a 38-28 record, sixth in the West, just a game behind third and two games ahead of the No. 9 seed.
Rockets at Thunder, 7 p.m., TNT
The Rockets are in a battle for the No. 1 seed in the West and the only teams battling for that are them and the Warriors. The Rockets have a half-game lead over the Warriors and a 12-game lead over the three seed. In other words, the one-two punch in the West will be the Rockets and Warriors in some order.
As for the Thunder, they sit in seventh in the West with a 37-28 record, a half game back from the Wolves.
A reminder that the Wolves won the season series 3-1 over the Thunder, so if these two teams finish with the same record, which is extremely possible, the Wolves would be the higher seed. The key in the West is to stay away from the No. 7 and No. 8 spots. Nobody wants to play the Rockets or Warriors in the first round.
Nuggets at Mavericks, 7:30 p.m., League Pass
The Nuggets are clawing onto the eighth seed in the West, a half game up from the Clippers and 1.5 games up on Utah.
Denver is only 1.5 games back from Minnesota and has Paul Millsap back. In three games since returning from a wrist injury, the All-Star has played 25.6 minutes per game while averaging 11.7 points and 6.7 rebounds. Slowly but surely, he’s getting reintegrated back into the flow.
Dallas isn’t the toughest opponent. The Mavs are young and at this point, it’s more about 2018-19 than it is about 2017-18, but just a week ago they took the Thunder to overtime. Maybe we will see a similar performance.
Knicks at Blazers, 9 p.m., League Pass
The Blazers have now won seven-straight games and sit third in the West, a game ahead of the Wolves in the standings with a 38-26 record.
The Knicks have had the struggles of recent, having lost 12 of their last 13 games, but it’s a back-to-back for Portland. So, maybe?
Pelicans at Clippers, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Both of these teams are playing with playoffs on their minds. The Pelicans have won eight straight and are fourth in the West with a 36-26 record. 0.5 percentage points ahead of the Wolves in the standings.
The Clippers have won seven of their last 10, and are just a half game back from the eighth seed with a 34-28 record.
After DeMarcus Cousins went down, Anthony Davis has throttled himself into MVP talk. Over his last 12 games, Davis is averaging 34 points, 13 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. WHAT?!
The Wolves were 4-0 against the Pelicans this season, so they have the tiebreaker if it comes down to it. Minnesota is 3-0 against LA with one game remaining on March 20.
We’ll check back in Wednesday a.m. with standings updates.