The Timberwolves have managed their young players well this season

Mandatory Credit: Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Minnesota Timberwolves have found a way to reach a record of 31-30. While that is not bad work for a Timberwolves roster that has been hobbled more than half of the NBA season, the team is now in the midst of the true ‘make or break’ segment of their season. This is the final 21 games of the 2022-23 NBA season, and any team that hopes to earn a playoff berth knows that there is no more tomorrow.

It’s now or never.

While the Denver Nuggets (41-19) are the clear front-runners in the NBA Western Conference, the second through 13th teams of the conference are separated by a mere 9.0 games. Right now, the Minnesota Timberwolves (31-30) are in the midst of the pack, sitting just 6.0 games behind the second-place Memphis Grizzlies (35-22) and just three games ahead of the LA Lakers (27-32).  That may not impress you much, but it’s pretty good considering that the Timberwolves have only had 21 games from All-Star power forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns.

When you’re hot, you’re hot. When you’re not, you’re not

It’s a lot of pressure on the team, and the coaching staff, to try to optimize every game, and every minute of play. That has not been the case so far this season, as the Timberwolves have run very hot and very cold. So hot that the team has beaten some very impressive and elite teams. So cold that this same team has lost to teams that have few wins on the season.

It even happens during a game, when the team will appear to be unbeatable, and climb to what appears to be an insurmountable lead. But then, the guns go silent, shooting goes cold, turnovers become plentiful, and the final buzzer sounds at a time when the Timberwolves have lost a game that they shouldn’t have lost.