The Minnesota Timberwolves matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers scheduled for March 6 had to be postponed due to humidity creating unsafe playing conditions on the court at Target Center. In the early afternoon on Thursday March 9, the Minnesota Timberwolves PR twitter account tweeted the below press release which included the new date for the postponed game, April 3.
This is not the first time this season the NBA has postponed a game. In fact, the game scheduled Nov. 30 between the Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers was postponed for the same reason. The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia experienced excess humidity causing a slippery surface on the court. Luckily for the Kings and the 76ers, they were able to play their postponed game on Jan. 30 and avoided playing their game at the end of the season. The Timberwolves won’t have that luxury, as their postponed game on April 3 will be the front end of a back-to-back that takes place in the final two weeks of the NBA regular season.
Postponing games late in the season is not an ideal for any team and can put the teams involved in challenging situations to close the season. One notable instance of this happened in the 2004 NBA season when the Memphis Grizzlies and the Utah Jazz had their game scheduled for Jan. 7 postponed to April 4 due to inclement weather preventing travel.
Both the Jazz and the Grizzlies struggled to finish the season on a high note and the extra game squeezed in at the end of the season probably contributed to that. The Grizzlies ended up making the playoffs as the sixth seed in the Western Conference but dropped seven of their last eight games to close the season. The Grizzlies were then dismantled in the first round of the playoffs as they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. The Jazz won the postponed game against the Grizzlies on April 5, 2004, but then proceeded to lose three of their last four games and missed the playoffs as they finished one game back of the eighth seeded Denver Nuggets.
The 2004 Jazz and Grizzlies don’t exactly present an optimistic view for the Timberwolves and the Trail Blazers. Unfortunately, the scheduling of the postponed game could potentially harm the playoff hopes of the Timberwolves more than the Trail Blazers. The Timberwolves will now have their last seven games condensed over the course of only 10 days, including two back-to-backs. The Trail Blazers on the other hand, have their final seven games stretched over 13 days with only one back-to-back.
The good news for Timberwolves fans is that these two teams will face off three more times this season. If the Timberwolves are able to win their three remaining games against the Trail Blazers, they will certainly position themselves nicely to dethrone the Denver Nuggets from the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
Logan Metzger is a contributor to HowlinTwolf.com. Follow him on Twitter:@loganmetzger33