The loss of Karl-Anthony Towns to a calf injury and a series of losses to Washington, Charlotte and Golden State have dented Minnesota’s already wobbly playoff chances.
The Timberwolves enter the home stretch of the NBA season with a 31-32 record and sitting 12.5 games behind Denver in the Northwest Division, despite the efforts of Anthony Edwards and Rudy Gobert.
Edwards has been a revelation for Minnesota this season, averaging 24.7 points and 4.5 assists per game to go with his 46% field goal percentage and 36.3 minutes per game, while Gobert has a team-high 67.9% field goal percentage for the ninth-place team in the Western Conference.
Now, the T-Wolves enter Tuesday night’s game against the Clippers with a 1.5-game edge on the Trail Blazers for the final spot in the NBA’s play-in tournament, needing to get hot to avoid missing out on the postseason entirely.
There is no legal Minnesota sports betting.
But the state legislature will hear this year’s sports betting bill later this week.
Where T-Wolves Stand Entering Home Stretch
Their recent struggles haven’t been lost on oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook, which have lowered the T-Wolves to +12500 to win their first NBA title.
Minnesota’s Western Conference prospects aren’t any rosier, sitting at +12500 on BetMGM Sportsbook’s odds board.
If Towns is able to suit up for Minnesota in the team’s final 19 games, it’d be his first game action since going down with a calf injury in a 127-124 loss to the Wizards on Nov. 28.
The Athletic's Shams Charania reported earlier this month that Towns and the franchise are hopeful the veteran center will be able to return for the team’s final 10-to-15 games of the regular season, which could serve as a shot in the arm as the playoffs approach.
Upcoming Schedule Doesn’t Help Cause
The NBA’s scheduling department didn’t help Minnesota’s cause, however, with the T-Wolves currently holding the third-hardest strength of schedule in the league at .522, according to Tankathon.com.
With games against the L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Sacramento, Philadelphia and Brooklyn on the horizon, the going’s about to get tougher for the Chris Finch-coached club.
Right now, Minnesota needs all the chips to fall their way to stay ahead of the likes of Portland and New Orleans and in line for a play-in tournament spot.
The T-Wolves can turn the tide on their conference foes by knocking off either L.A. team, or the first-place Kings on the road this week.