A few weeks ago, this looked like a potentially pivotal game in the Wolves quest to reach the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
Alas, it was not meant to be. The Wolves have swooned while Memphis has picked up steam and is still in the thick of a three team battle for the final two playoff spots. The Grizzlies are holding at a 44-30 record along with the Phoenix Suns, while the Dallas Mavericks are lingering in the periphery with a 44-31 mark.
The Wolves now find themselves a full 7 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot, and only hold a 4 1/2 game lead on New Orleans and Denver for the 10th slot in the West. It’s a sobering reality that Minnesota is once again as close to the cellar as to the playoffs, but here we are.
It seems doubtful that Nikola Pekovic will make an appearance this evening, but we can always hold out some hope. Without him, Gorgui Dieng will be assessed the difficult and neigh impossible task of checking Marc Gasol and assisting Kevin Love with Zach Randollph on the glass and in the paint.
The Ricky Rubio-Mike Conley match-up is always fun and intriguing, as both players draw the majority of their value from their play on the defense end of the floor. With both teams coming off of games on Monday night and an off-night on Tuesday, we should see some good basketball at Target Center on Wednesday night.
Looking ahead, we’ll have a post looking through Zach Lowe’s piece regarding Kevin Love and the Timberwolves that hit Grantland last Friday. Stay tuned for that, and meet back here post-game for a recap of tonight’s game.