The Week Ahead | Just Two Games Left

The Wolves wrap up their season with a home and road game this week against two Western Conference playoff teams. Our Kyle Ratke previews the week.

Wolves vs. Thunder, 7:00 p.m.
Target Center
FS North, NBA TV, 830 WCCO

Why you should attend: This one is fairly obvious. At halftime, the Wolves are unveiling their brand-new logo to those attending the game. Think about what a unique opportunity that is.

“Kyle, have you seen the new logo?”

Of course I haven’t. Everyone here still thinks I’m in intern. My boss called me “Greg” the other day. My name isn’t Greg. It’s Kyle.

Regardless, this is a huge opportunity and I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty dang awesome. And, you’ll get a free t-shirt with the new logo on it when you leave the game (after the ceremony, of course).

It’s the final home game of the season. But it’s the beginning of a new look and a new era for the Wolves.

Opposing player I’ll be watching: Who other than Russell Westbrook Jr. AKA The Brodie AKA Russ?

Westbrook is fighting for the MVP crown along with James Harden. He already set the NBA record for most triple-doubles in a season (42) and he’s going to finish the season averaging a triple-double. He’s averaging league-high 31.9 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game.

Going into the week, Westbrook is on an absolute tear, averaging 39.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 9.3 assists and two steals per game. During that same stretch, though, he’s turning the ball over 5.7 times per game. Not great.

The MVP race could very well come down to these final two games of the season. The Wolves get a look at both players on back-to-back nights.

Wolves at Rockets, 7:00 p.m.
Target Center
FS North Plus, 830 WCCO

Why you should watch: Because it’s the last time you’ll be able to watch the Timberwolves play until October! And while a win or a loss doesn’t mean a whole lot for the Wolves as far as the standings go, Karl-Anthony Towns could be the youngest player if he can haul in 27 rebounds over the next two games, to become the youngest player to score 2,000 points while finishing with 1,000 or more rebounds in a season. Towns is 21 years old. That’s pretty incredible.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:  Jimmy Harden! Harden is Westbrook’s main competition for MVP. If I had a vote, I’d vote for Harden. But I don’t have a vote because people think I’m Greg.

On the season, Harden is averaging 29.3 points, a league-leading 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game. Like Westbrook, Harden has been on an absolute tear lately, averaging 33 points, 12.3 assists and nine rebounds per game while shooting 38.1 percent from the 3-point line.

Voters have until Friday to cast their votes for awards. If I had to guess, most will take all the time they can to cast their vote for MVP.

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