New Orleans Pelicans (36-37)
The New Orleans Pelicans were another team that seemed to have post-season play well in hand, with a record of 29-28. Since the deadline, they have played to a 7-8 record, and are fighting to fend off being eliminated from postseason discussions.
Surprisingly, the Pelicans made an under-the-radar move at the NBA Trade Deadline, acquiring Josh Richardson from the San Antonio Spurs for Devonte’ Graham and four second-round draft picks.
While I wouldn’t call Richardson a bust, his production through 14 games for the Pelicans has been less than expected. In fact, he has only been a minimal improvement over Devonte Graham, and that has hindered the Pelicans’ progress since the deadline. The Pelicans have a rough final chapter to their last nine games of the 2022-23 NBA season, with two games against the LA Clippers, and a game against the Golden State Warriors, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Denver Nuggets, and the Sacramento Kings, before their final game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Recapping Timberwolves trail to the NBA Playoffs
The best-case scenario for the Minnesota Timberwolves right now is to get hot and win out the rest of the season. The polar-opposite worst-case scenario for the Minnesota Timberwolves is to go ice cold and lose out. It’s a safe bet to expect the Timberwolves to finish out somewhere between those two extremes.
The Timberwolves’ final eight opponents are evenly split between teams currently over .500, and teams under .500. While that may be promising ground to cover, you may be surprised at why. The Timberwolves have competed better against good teams this season than against lesser competitive teams.
We’ll soon get to see just how badly the Minnesota Timberwolves want to compete in the NBA Playoffs. Even with just eight games remaining on their schedule, if they win them all they are in the postseason. With Karl-Anthony Towns back and playing, and hope for Anthony Edwards to return soon, the Timberwolves will have their best rotations just in time to make a playoff push and perhaps compete in the NBA Playoffs for their second consecutive season.
Too much pressure? This is nothing close to the pressure on any team in the best-of-seven NBA Playoffs format. Time to get Timberwolves tough, and start winning some games.