The NBA Western Conference Finals have been decided. It will be the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers facing the top-seeded Denver Nuggets in a best-of-seven series to determine which team goes home and which team will advance to compete in the NBA Championship series. Okay, so what is the scoop about the NBA Western Conference Finals? Before we go there, let’s just compare some regular season statistics from the Timberwolves against these teams:
- Teams Timberwolves Lakers Nuggets
- Record 42-40 43-39 53-29
- vs Wolves – 1-2 2-2
- PPG 115.8 117.2 115.8
- vs PPG 115.8 116.6 112.5
- FG% 49.0 48.2 50.4
- vs FG% 47.1 46.9 47.8
- 3Pt% 36.5 34.6 37.9
- vs 3Pt% 36.9 34.4 34.4
How close are the Minnesota Timberwolves to the two teams competing in the NBA Western Conference Finals? With the exception of defending perimeter shooting, the Timberwolves are right in the thick of it. And for more encouraging news, the Minnesota Timberwolves were the better team in head-to-head competition with the Lakers in the regular season and played to a standoff against the Nuggets during the 2022-23 NBA season.
Have you guessed what the oddity about the NBA Western Conference is?
An unusual fun fact about the NBA Western Conference Finals
Okay, so what’s so odd about this series? If you look at their history, the Lakers and the Nuggets were the last two NBA teams to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves. That’s right, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 1 of the NBA Play-In Tournament in a hard-fought overtime game by the score of 108 to 102.
That allowed the Lakers to face the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies and forced the Timberwolves to compete in Game 3 of the NBA Play-In Tournament against the Oklahoma City Thunder for the right to face the Denver Nuggets. The Timberwolves fell to the Nuggets in that series by a record of 4-1, losing the final game by a score of 112-109.
The last two teams to defeat the Timberwolves now meet to decide who competes in the NBA Championship series. Does a Nuggets’ victory in the NBA Championship absolve the disappointment of the Minnesota Timberwolves fans in the team’s season? If not, perhaps it should. And it’s even more comforting when you consider that the last two teams to defeat the Timberwolves are now competing for a chance to play in the NBA Championship series.
Perhaps the Timberwolves are not as far off as some have tried to make you believe after all?