Minnesota has yet to face the Wizards but will see them twice in six days in early March. First, a visit to the nation’s capital to face Scott Brooks‘ disappointing club. The Wizards currently sit at 24-34 and it is a wonder that Brooks has not lost his job. Now, John Wall is out for the season and the Wiz are 3-7 in their last 10 contests.
vs. Oklahoma City
The Wolves have somehow already beaten the Thunder twice in OKC, and it while it would be awesome to still grab one of the two home games against Russell Westbrook and Co., winning that season series is a lot to expect. The Thunder headed into the All-Star Break playing well and have since added Markieff Morris to their bench. While this is certainly a winnable game, it’s more likely that Oklahoma City will come away victorious.
The Detroit Pistons are clinging to the No. 8 spot in the east, currently sitting at 26-30 and suffering from the same up-and-down spells that have plagued the Timberwolves so far this season. The Pistons beat the Wolves in overtime in Minnesota on Dec. 19, and the Wolves should succeed in their quest for revenge this time around.
See above. The Wolves are better than the Wizards and shouldn’t have any problem in this game as they work to build a winning streak and get back to .500 on the season.
vs. New York
This game is on the second night of a back-to-back so it won’t be a layup, but both games are at home and as we covered earlier, the Knicks are bad.
This is a tough game that the Wolves will absolutely not be favored to win, but they’ll come into the Mile High City on a four-game winning streak and always play the Nuggets close. I went ahead and gave the Wolves an optimistic ‘W’ on this one, but it’s admittedly a bit of a long shot.
A second consecutive game at altitude will be no picnic, and the Wolves typically struggle with the Jazz. They did beat them back on Halloween (that was the Derrick Rose 50-point game) at Target Center, but lost both ends of a home-and-home series at the end of January. The Jazz should be peaking at this point, so it’ll be a tough go of it to get a win.
The Wolves have already beaten Houston twice at home this season and will have two days of rest heading into their only visit to Space City. The only problems are that a) the Rockets will surely be more healthy at this point, which means there could be a Clint Capela sighting, b) the Rockets will no doubt be peaking as they draw closer to the playoffs, and c) the Timberwolves are only 5-10 when they have two or more days of rest.
vs. Golden State
The Wolves have already been dominated by the Warriors twice, and there’s nothing to suggest that Minnesota would win this game, although they’ve played them decently well in past years. Perhaps they’ll lose in Denver but pull this one out, but it’s hard to see them winning both of these games.
The Hornets came into the All-Star break at 27-30 and seem to be permanently stuck in win-now mode, only “win-now” has only meant hovering in the playoff conversation until the bitter end. It certainly seems as though All-Star Kemba Walker will have them in contention again this year, but it’s still a game that the Wolves should win.
The Wolves are 1-2 against the currently-23-36 Grizzlies, including an ugly loss in Memphis on Feb. 5. While Marc Gasol has been traded, he didn’t play in that debacle of a game, either. It’s a game the Wolves will be favored to win, and frankly, they must win it if they want to stay in the playoff hunt.
vs. Los Angeles Clippers
The Wolves lost in L.A. earlier this year but beat them with ease just prior to the All-Star Break. It sure seems as though they’re ready to tank their way out of the playoff race, and the Wolves will be returning home after a successful two-game road trip, so we’ll call this one a win.
vs. Golden State
I just can’t bring myself to call a win over the Warriors, even at home. It’s certainly possible the Wolves pull out one of their two home games against Golden State, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
This is the second night of another home back-to-back, and the Wolves won’t be favored. But the guess here is that Jimmy Butler tries too hard to go into takeover mode in his Target Center return, and the Wolves are able to bottle up that emotion that escaped them when they were destroyed in Philadelphia on Jan. 15.