Now that Jimmy Butler is on the shelf with a knee injury, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ grip on the postseason seems to be much less secure than their current third place record in the West would lead you to believe.
The Minnesota Timberwolves lost the leader of their team for the foreseeable future when Jimmy Butler was diagnosed with a Meniscal injury earlier this week, but the show must go on for the Wolves, who are only a handful of games above ninth position in the Western Conference standings.
In a star-driven league like the NBA, teams can be looked at as easy prey when their leader goes down. The Wolves will have to make adjustments to keep pace, and keep other contending teams from leap-frogging over them into the playoffs.
Right now, ending that playoff drought is the main focus, and it can still be done without Jimmy Butler.
In order to keep their spot in the postseason tournament, the Wolves will need to make severe adjustments on the fly. Trying to replace their leading scorer, emotional leader and best defensive player will not be easy, but in order to break a playoff drought that started in 2004 the Timberwolves will need do things they normally wouldn’t do.
Here are five keys to making the postseason without Jimmy Butler.