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  1. #1
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    Jan 2017
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    Don't stop believin': the Wolves playoffs picture

    Hopefully this is not a jinx.

    8) Nuggets 19-25
    9) Blazers 19-27
    10) Pelicans 18-27
    11) Kings 17-27
    12) Timberwolves 17-28
    13) Mavs 15-29
    14) Lakers 16-32
    15) Suns 15-30

    Next games:

    @ LA Clippers - W
    Vs Nuggets - W
    @ Suns - W
    Vs Pacers
    Vs Nets
    Vs Magic

    Looking at the SRS (a team rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule) the Wolves have the best chance of all the bottom 8 teams to clinch that 8th spot (Nuggets 2nd):

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/.../NBA_2017.html

    This is shaping up to be an exiting 2nd half of the season.


  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by okayplayery View Post
    Hopefully this is not a jinx.

    8) Nuggets 19-25
    9) Blazers 19-27
    10) Pelicans 18-27
    11) Kings 17-27
    12) Timberwolves 17-28
    13) Mavs 15-29
    14) Lakers 16-32
    15) Suns 15-30

    Next games:

    @ LA Clippers - W
    Vs Nuggets - W
    @ Suns - W
    Vs Pacers
    Vs Nets
    Vs Magic

    Looking at the SRS (a team rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule) the Wolves have the best chance of all the bottom 8 teams to clinch that 8th spot (Nuggets 2nd):

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/.../NBA_2017.html

    This is shaping up to be an exiting 2nd half of the season.
    Having the best SRS doesn't mean that the Wolves have the best chance of actually getting the 8-seed. They're still 2.5 games back of that spot to start, and have to pass 4 other teams. While 2.5 games might not seem like much, it's a significant hurdle with that many teams also between them and Denver.

    ESPN's playoff predictor, which is built on an adjusted team quality ranking that combines offensive and defensive rating (roughly point differential, although with a little more nuance because point differential isn't predictive in quite the same way if the positives (or negatives) are driven more by offense or by defense) and an even more in-depth strength/difficulty of schedule modifier, give the Wolves the 3rd-best chance of landing the 8-seed, but only an 8.5% chance, well behind Portland (43.9%) and Devner (36.8%).

    EDIT: The team obviously should be aiming for that spot, aspirationally, but that doesn't mean that fans should look at as likely.
    Last edited by LA_33; 01-25-2017 at 11:02 AM.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    2,431
    I'm just hoping at this point they can stay in that hunt right up to the final games. Even if they don't make it, the chase for the spot will be good for this team's learning curve. Give them a taste of competing for it. If they miss it by a game or two, they'll learn to value each and every game that much more. Especially for a guy like Wiggins, who can be brilliant one night and forget there's a game the next, that could be a valuable lesson that can only be learned by living it.

    They are playing much better right now. I hope they don't trade Rubio and disrupt what they've got going on right now. Even if you want Dunn and Jones to get more minutes, that's fine. Ricky at 20 minutes a night is a valuable asset.


  4. #4
    Join Date
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    17,403
    BB-Ref has us at a 7% chance of making the playoffs based on our spot as of now.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/...ayoff_prob.cgi

    We've got too many teams ahead of us and have blown too many winnable games this year for us to be in the playoffs. Had we won four more of those double digit derps, we'd be 21-25 and sitting in the mix with POR and DEN.

    I really think the West's sacrificial GSW first round opponent spot comes down to POR or DEN.

    If the Wolves keep playing reasonably well, we could end up in the 35 win range and within arm's reach of the eight spot but probably not good enough to get there.
    Inching back towards the wagon...slowly...


  5. #5
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    Victorville, CA
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    Western Conference record in the last 10 games as of this morning:

    GSW 9-1
    SA 7-3
    UTA 7-3
    OKC 7-3
    DEN 7-3
    MIN 7-3

    Denver is currently in 8th and no one in the bottom half was better than 5-5 other than us. At Denver's current rate (for the season not the last 10), they'll end up with 37-38 wins. We'd have to go 20-15 to match them at 8th, assuming no one else between us or DEN improves over the second (not quite) half of the season.
    You play to win the game... HELLO?! You PLAY to WIN the GAME!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Moscow, Russia
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    Pelicans & Blazers both lost today.

    Regarding Wolves chances: in Thibs' first year the Bulls were 9-8 to start the season. They got slowly better as the year went on. Finished the season 21-2. Thibs' teams play that grindhouse ball, when they just outwork the other team, so towards the end of the season other teams tend to fold against them, making long winning streaks possible.

    So it's a longshot, but being exited for regular season games in March and April is the goal.


  7. #7
    Timberwolves starting to find themselves under Thibodeau
    AP 5:47 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2017

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves led by nine-point with under five minutes to play when the Orlando Magic made their charge.

    Over the next three minutes, that lead disappeared, just as so many others had earlier in the season. They still trailed with 10 seconds to play when Andrew Wiggins took the ball, dribbled once to his left to create a sliver of daylight between himself and Aaron Gordon and drilled a 21-footer to tie the game.

    It was Wiggins' second clutch shot in the last week, one that helped the Timberwolves eventually defeat the Magic in overtime for their eighth victory in the last 11 games. And it marked the continuing evolution of a young team that is trying to put a miserable start to the year behind it and get back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

    After starting the season a disappointing 6-18 under first-year coach Tom Thibodeau, the Wolves have started to show signs of turning a corner in the new year. They have the third-best record in the league over the last 11 games and sit just three games out of the eighth seed in the West heading into a game at Cleveland on Wednesday night.

    "The thing that we've wanted since the beginning was to get in a rhythm and we're starting to find one," Karl-Anthony Towns said. "Now it's just about staying disciplined, staying with the method that has been working and not deviating from the path."

    Straight from the coach's mouth. Thibodeau has been demanding of his young charges through the first three months of the season, emphasizing consistency in approach and exactness in execution as the keys to long-term success. He still doesn't hide his displeasure on the sideline with a missed rotation or a rushed jumpshot — the local cable network that broadcasts Timberwolves games has turned down some of the microphones near Thibodeau on the sideline so his growling isn't quite as audible for audiences watching at home. But he has been quick to point out that he has been pleased with the work ethic he has seen from the team.

    "We're just trying to build the right habits," Thibodeau said. "You don't want to get too excited with a win. You don't want to get too down after a loss. Just learn and improve because they keep coming. I like the direction that we're moving in because of the way we're practicing and preparing each day. But there's a long way to go for us."

    Minnesota was still just 11-26 after giving up a nine-point lead in the final three minutes of a home loss to the Utah Jazz on Jan. 7, but the team points to a game in Chicago against Thibodeau's former team as a bit of a milestone. The Wolves trailed by 21 points in the second quarter of that game, but rallied for a 99-94 victory that started the set the tone for the team going forward. Going into that game, the Wolves were 27th in the league in defensive rating, a startling statistic for a team coached by one of the best defensive minds in the game.

    Since that game, however, the Wolves are seventh in the league in defensive rating (105.2 points per 100 possessions) and eighth in overall net rating (plus-1.9). The result has been a 13-11 record over that span, which is much more in line with what the expectations were at the start of the season for a team that has not made the playoffs since 2004.

    Over the last two weeks, Towns is second and Wiggins is third in "clutch" field goal percentage — situations where the score is within five points in the final five minutes of the game — according to NBA.com. Only Kevin Durant has been better.

    The schedule gets more challenging with games at Cleveland on Wednesday and at Detroit on Friday before a six-game home stand begins on Saturday against Memphis.

    "If you're doing the right things, the results will come," Thibodeau said. "When they can see that, that helps. The challenge for us is how do we speed up the process? And it's by how we work. We always say the magic is in the work.


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick K View Post
    Timberwolves starting to find themselves under Thibodeau
    AP 5:47 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2017

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves led by nine-point with under five minutes to play when the Orlando Magic made their charge.

    Over the next three minutes, that lead disappeared, just as so many others had earlier in the season. They still trailed with 10 seconds to play when Andrew Wiggins took the ball, dribbled once to his left to create a sliver of daylight between himself and Aaron Gordon and drilled a 21-footer to tie the game.

    It was Wiggins' second clutch shot in the last week, one that helped the Timberwolves eventually defeat the Magic in overtime for their eighth victory in the last 11 games. And it marked the continuing evolution of a young team that is trying to put a miserable start to the year behind it and get back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

    After starting the season a disappointing 6-18 under first-year coach Tom Thibodeau, the Wolves have started to show signs of turning a corner in the new year. They have the third-best record in the league over the last 11 games and sit just three games out of the eighth seed in the West heading into a game at Cleveland on Wednesday night.

    "The thing that we've wanted since the beginning was to get in a rhythm and we're starting to find one," Karl-Anthony Towns said. "Now it's just about staying disciplined, staying with the method that has been working and not deviating from the path."

    Straight from the coach's mouth. Thibodeau has been demanding of his young charges through the first three months of the season, emphasizing consistency in approach and exactness in execution as the keys to long-term success. He still doesn't hide his displeasure on the sideline with a missed rotation or a rushed jumpshot — the local cable network that broadcasts Timberwolves games has turned down some of the microphones near Thibodeau on the sideline so his growling isn't quite as audible for audiences watching at home. But he has been quick to point out that he has been pleased with the work ethic he has seen from the team.

    "We're just trying to build the right habits," Thibodeau said. "You don't want to get too excited with a win. You don't want to get too down after a loss. Just learn and improve because they keep coming. I like the direction that we're moving in because of the way we're practicing and preparing each day. But there's a long way to go for us."

    Minnesota was still just 11-26 after giving up a nine-point lead in the final three minutes of a home loss to the Utah Jazz on Jan. 7, but the team points to a game in Chicago against Thibodeau's former team as a bit of a milestone. The Wolves trailed by 21 points in the second quarter of that game, but rallied for a 99-94 victory that started the set the tone for the team going forward. Going into that game, the Wolves were 27th in the league in defensive rating, a startling statistic for a team coached by one of the best defensive minds in the game.

    Since that game, however, the Wolves are seventh in the league in defensive rating (105.2 points per 100 possessions) and eighth in overall net rating (plus-1.9). The result has been a 13-11 record over that span, which is much more in line with what the expectations were at the start of the season for a team that has not made the playoffs since 2004.

    Over the last two weeks, Towns is second and Wiggins is third in "clutch" field goal percentage — situations where the score is within five points in the final five minutes of the game — according to NBA.com. Only Kevin Durant has been better.

    The schedule gets more challenging with games at Cleveland on Wednesday and at Detroit on Friday before a six-game home stand begins on Saturday against Memphis.

    "If you're doing the right things, the results will come," Thibodeau said. "When they can see that, that helps. The challenge for us is how do we speed up the process? And it's by how we work. We always say the magic is in the work.
    Good read. It's like what Sam Mitchell said last year, how these kids weren't taught the right fundamentals of the game before entering the NBA. They learned literally every nba skill they had from Flip and Sam and had to have it turned completely upside down by someone who takes a very different approach. I think we may have been a bit foolish to expect so much so quickly


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Moscow, Russia
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    Wolves in sole possession of #10 spot!

    8. Denver (21-26) -
    ---------------------------
    9. Portland (22-28) -0.5
    10. Minnesota (19-29) -2.5
    11. Sacramento (19-30) -3.0
    11. New Orleans (19-30) -3.0
    13. Dallas (18-30) -3.5

    Tonight's games
    Minnesota at Cleveland
    New Orleans at Detroit
    Philadelphia at Dallas
    Memphis at Denver

    Friday's games
    Minnesota at Detroit
    Milwaukee at Denver
    Phoenix at Sacramento
    Dallas at Portland


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Z0r View Post
    Good read. It's like what Sam Mitchell said last year, how these kids weren't taught the right fundamentals of the game before entering the NBA. They learned literally every nba skill they had from Flip and Sam and had to have it turned completely upside down by someone who takes a very different approach. I think we may have been a bit foolish to expect so much so quickly
    I just remember what Sam always said: that he was laying down things that would help the "next" coach. He hoped it would be him...but even if it wasnt he was still going to do what was best for his players..not himself. I think you can go back to Flip playing Zach at PG (yuck) as also something that was beneficial for the long haul over the short haul.

    THey are starting to come around with Thibs. I've been as critical as anyone over whats been happening (still am to a certain degree) but I'm glad to see that there are some positives at this point over what he's doing.


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by kingsxman View Post
    I just remember what Sam always said: that he was laying down things that would help the "next" coach. He hoped it would be him...but even if it wasnt he was still going to do what was best for his players..not himself. I think you can go back to Flip playing Zach at PG (yuck) as also something that was beneficial for the long haul over the short haul.

    THey are starting to come around with Thibs. I've been as critical as anyone over whats been happening (still am to a certain degree) but I'm glad to see that there are some positives at this point over what he's doing.
    I've been critical too but the progress is undeniable. I actually saw Thibs smile once. It looks good on him. Even his barking on the sidelines is getting tolerable. That's progress. As long as we can continue this upward trend, that's the key. If we do we'll make the playoffs.

    It's amazing we're doing this well without using our veterans off the bench. Aldrich only gets about 5 min a game. Hill and Rush don't play at all. I never would have guessed that after their signing. Especially Hill who was an 8th overall pick and a career 16 PER.


  12. #12
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    Dec 2004
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    17,403
    Quote Originally Posted by okayplayery View Post
    Hopefully this is not a jinx.

    8) Nuggets 19-25
    9) Blazers 19-27
    10) Pelicans 18-27
    11) Kings 17-27
    12) Timberwolves 17-28
    13) Mavs 15-29
    14) Lakers 16-32
    15) Suns 15-30
    Here's how it's looking now and record since this post:

    8) DEN 24-30 (5-5)
    9) POR 23-31 (4-4)
    10) SAC 22-32 (5-5)
    10) DAL 22-32 (7-3)
    12) NOP 21-33 (3-6)
    13) MIN 20-34 (3-6)
    14) LAL 19-37 (3-5)
    15) PHX 17-38 (2-8)
    Inching back towards the wagon...slowly...


  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by The Country Club View Post
    Here's how it's looking now and record since this post:

    8) DEN 24-30 (5-5)
    9) POR 23-31 (4-4)
    10) SAC 22-32 (5-5)
    10) DAL 22-32 (7-3)
    12) NOP 21-33 (3-6)
    13) MIN 20-34 (3-6)
    14) LAL 19-37 (3-5)
    15) PHX 17-38 (2-8)
    The Wolves really stink right now...


  14. #14
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    That loss to the Pelicans was killer. Tough stretch ahead:

    Cleveland
    @ Denver
    Dallas
    @ Houston
    @ Sacramento
    @ Utah
    @ San Antonio

    That Portland-Denver trade was weird. I guess it's a win now move for the Nuggets, cause Plumlee was very good this season (according to advanced stats at least) and Nurkic was spotty and out of shape (allegedly). Are Blazers looking to tank after ASG?


  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by okayplayery View Post
    Are Blazers looking to tank after ASG?
    Not necessarily. But Plumlee is up for a new contract this offseason, whereas Nurkic is on his rookie deal for an additional year. It allows them to put off a decision on signing a long-term center for an extra year. That's really important considering the crapton of money they spent last year (near-max extension for McCollum kicks in after this season, crazy free agent deal for Evan Turner, contract extensions for Meyers, Crabbe, Harkless). If they resigned Plumlee in restricted free agency, they'd be facing a HUGE tax bill, and for a team that isn't even currently in the playoffs.


  16. #16
    I'm over the thought of the Wolves competing for a playoff spot. For whatever reason this team is not getting what Thibs is saying when it comes to Defense.


  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by kingsxman View Post
    I'm over the thought of the Wolves competing for a playoff spot. For whatever reason this team is not getting what Thibs is saying when it comes to Defense.
    Even I think we're done for a playoff spot, for the exact same reasons. The last 9 games have been a killer.


  18. #18
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    Yeah, I've stopped believin'.
    You play to win the game... HELLO?! You PLAY to WIN the GAME!


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DR View Post
    Yeah, I've stopped believin'.
    Time to start believing again.

    Jazz, Spurs, Blazers, Clippers, Warriors, Bucks, Wizards, Celtics, Heat, Pelicans and Spurs again in that order.

    This stretch of games is very hard, but if they manage to come out of it with a winning record, watch out.

    1-0 so far and owning that #9 spot.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    The race for sacrificial lamb/avoiding ping pong ball status as of this morning:

    DEN 28-33
    POR 25-35 -2.5
    SAC 25-36 -3.0
    MIN 25-36 -3.0
    DAL 25-36 -3.0
    NOP 24-38 -4.5

    Highlights:
    *Dallas with a quality win at home against Memphis
    *New Orleans derped again...this time to the Spurs. Now 0-for with Boogie in the lineup.
    Inching back towards the wagon...slowly...



 

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