Can Timberwolves enter the All-Star break on a winning streak?

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves are not exactly on a hot streak right now. Sure, the team had just won an impressive victory by defeating the Dallas Mavericks on the road, but this is a team that is 6-4 in their last ten games, and just 31-29 on the season. Perhaps worst of all, the NBA Western Conference just upgraded at the NBA Trade Deadline, and the Timberwolves find themselves stuck in a pack of teams seeded third-thirteenth and separated by just nine games.

If the Timberwolves fall to a losing streak, they quickly plummet from their current sixth seed to a spot that is out of the NBA Playoffs. But if the team gets hot and strings together some consecutive wins, they could just as easily rise in the standings and perhaps land a third or fourth seeding in the upcoming postseason.

The next game, their final contest before the All-Star break, could play a huge part in determining which direction the Minnesota Timberwolves go from here:

The Timberwolves lost the first and only contest against the Wizards, which was the game in which Karl-Anthony Towns fell to the basketball court grabbing his right calf muscle. Because the Timberwolves lost KAT during the game, they never really got back on track after the injury. Now they will have a chance to face the Washington Wizards (27-30) again.

This will be a new lineup facing the Wizards, as the team has PG Mike Conley running the floor. Not only does there appear to be better cohesiveness and chemistry on the Timberwolves roster, but the team has more fluid and natural ball movement. That could prove to be a huge advantage, as the Timberwolves could only muster 20 assists to 31 for the Wizards in their last meeting.

But the Wizards overwhelmed a Timberwolves team in shooting, draining 47.4 percent of their perimeter shots. I don’t expect similar success for the Wizards this time, as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ defense has sharply improved with the arrival of Conley to the starting lineup. Both teams are coming off wins, but the Timberwolves are playing at home at Target Center in this one.

Look for the Wolves to win.

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