Timberwolves must outplay these 6 NBA teams down the stretch

Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Minnesota Timberwolves (37-37) need to win games. But to earn a playoff berth, the way is simpler. The Timberwolves simply need to outplay the five teams who pose the biggest threats to their NBA Playoff chances. At one point in the season, the NBA Western Conference was a completely different race. The Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder, two young roster teams with plans toward competing in the future, were in the thick of it.

The Portland Trail Blazers stood pat for the most part, and have plummeted since the NBA Trade Deadline with a 5-12 record. The Utah Jazz were quite active at the deadline, and have played to an 8-9 record ever since. Finally, the Thunder have been playing at a 10-10 clip since the trade deadline.

For comparison’s sake, the Minnesota Timberwolves were quite active at the NBA Trade Deadline as well, and have played to a 7-9 record since.

Phoenix Suns (38-35)

The Phoenix Suns reloaded their roster at the NBA Trade deadline and have played to an 8-8 record. Of course, they made NBA headlines when they traded with the Brooklyn Nets to acquire Kevin Durant. But at what cost? Well, a pretty penny, as they added Durant and T.J. Warren for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, and four future first-round draft picks. Unlike the Minnesota Timberwolves trade for Rudy Gobert, both Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges are lighting it up for the Brooklyn Nets.

The Suns are stuck in a three-game losing streak, with a rather formidable 10 games remaining on their schedule. They host the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 29, a game with huge repercussions for both teams. Before they face the Timberwolves, they must get past the Sacramento Kings, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Utah Jazz.  The Suns appear to be a shoo-in for the NBA Playoffs, but at what seeding is still very unclear.