The Minnesota Timberwolves recently released their schedule for the second half of the NBA season. The Wolves will open up the post-All-Star Break slate by playing the Pelicans in New Orleans on March 11.
During my predictions for the first half of the season, I was admittedly a little too optimistic about the Wolves. Of course, a lot has happened to the Wolves both on and off the court since then, so the second-half predictions will be a bit different.
There are several things to consider before getting to the predictions.
First, we need to evaluate how the D’Angelo Russell injury will affect the Wolves’ record. He is likely to be out for at least the next three to four weeks following knee surgery.
Secondly, we also need to consider how the recent coaching change will impact the team. The team fired Ryan Saunders on Feb. 21 and hired Chris Finch. Finch is 0-5 so far, but has yet to coach Russell and has only had Malik Beasley for two games.
Projected Minnesota Timberwolves post-ASB March record: 3-9
There are definitely some winnable games when you look at the month of March, but the continued absences of both Beasley and Russell will make things much tougher.
The first game that Beasley is eligible to return for is on March 27. Russell could return around that same time.
A 3-9 mark might seem a bit generous considering the lack of Beasley and Russell, but there are still a few winnable games.
For instance, the Rockets are another team that has had struggles during the first half of the season and has only four more wins with the Wolves. They’re also the only team in the league with a longer current losing streak, and the Wolves see them twice in March.
The Thunder and Pelicans are teams that the Wolves have won against earlier this season and even though it is under different circumstances, the Wolves could still eke out a victory against both teams.