By: Louie Vicchiollo
Tonight is the most important game in the last 13 years for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tonight, the Timberwolves have the opportunity to secure a playoff spot for the first time since 2004 with a win; a loss, and they're watching the playoffs from their couches. The Wolves, who currently sit in 8th, will host the Nuggets, 9th in the West, in the first NBA playoff play-in game in over 20 years. The Wolves and Nuggets currently hold the same record, with Minnesota owning the tie-breaker over Denver, but a Denver win tonight would give them the 8th spot in the West, and the final playoff spot.
What: Wolves vs. Nuggets
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
When: 7 pm CT
Where to watch: Fox Sports North / NBATV
Where to listen: 830 WCCO
What to watch for
Jimmy Butler: The only loss the Nuggets served to the Wolves this year came without Jimmy playing, so having him back in the lineup will undoubtedly help Minnesota make the final push into the playoffs. I have a feeling we will also see Butler's killer instinct come out tonight, to bring his not-so-new team to their first playoff appearance in 13 seasons.
Nikola Jokic: Dubbed "The Joker", his size, first step speed, shooting and passing abilities make him a matchup nightmare and a triple-double waiting to happen. Watch for multiple defensive schemes to slow him down.
Target Center Crowd: For what is undoubtedly one of the most important games in over a decade for Timberwolves fans, expect the Target Center to be rockin' tonight — what should be a serious home court advantage for the Wolves.
Minnesota: PG Jeff Teague, SG Andrew Wiggins, SF Jimmy Butler, PF Taj Gibson, C Karl-Anthony Towns
Utah: PG Jamal Murray, SG Will Barton, SF Wilson Chandler, PF Paul Millsap, C Nikola Jokic
The draught ends tonight. Wolves take care of business, 110-104.
Thanks for reading, and GO WOLVES!