Minnesota Timberwolves (18-19) at Portland Trailblazers (18-18) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Blazing a Playoff Trail: Minnesota (18-19) at Portland (18-18)

What we will see tonight in Oregon is two teams fighting for playoff relevance. One on hand, you have the Minnesota Timberwolves who despite being in the mists of a two game skid, are for the first time since a guy named Garnett was in uniform are legitimately fighting for a playoff spot in an up for grabs Western Conference.

And in the other corner you have the L.A. Clippers of the 2000’s, a team that has always had the talent and has always come close but something always happens to set them back. From Greg Oden to Brandon Roy the Blazers are seriously in contention for a playoff spot despite the pains.

Really what is going on in Portland tonight is two teams that are fighting adversity. The Wolves have just been awful for so long they are  finally rallying to greatness and respect again — ironically anchored by a guy named Kevin.

The Blazers are a step beyond the Wolves, but not by much in terms of the adversity. Their wounds aren’t as self-inflicted as the Wolves as the Blazers have actually been a competitive team. But beyond a feel good story each year, the Blazers sputter out and fizz to a disappointing season easy year.

The largest impact of tonight’s game is that one of the two teams hitting the hardwood tonight very well could take the others playoff seed come April.

It’s hard to imagine that both the Wolves and Blazers make it as they are most likely going to be eighth seeds. But as topsy-turvy and up for grabs the West is, it wouldn’t be the most shocking thing ever if both made it in.

We will get to see tonight how competitive these teams will be because even though it’s just the fourth game back for the Wolves since the All-Star Break, tonight’s game has playoff implications.

Top Performer – Kevin Love

Kevin Love needs to step up big tonight as he has yet to really have a good game since the break. He’s suffering from flu-like symptoms still but they are subsiding which means if it’s time for Love to take off and get back on track, it’s against a team that is fighting for the Wolves playoff spot.

Prediction: Wolves 87, Blazers 85


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