Rockets fans confident heading into 1st round of NBA Playoffs

Minnesota Timberwolves Jeff Teague looks to pass as Memphis Grizzlies Ivan Rabb defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday

Minnesota Timberwolves Jeff Teague looks to pass as Memphis Grizzlies Ivan Rabb defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday

The Timberwolves had an absurd offensive rebounding percentage of 41.9 (above their season average of 24.3) and held the Grizzlies to an effective field goal percentage of 0.441 (below their season average of 0.500).

That means the Nuggets will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight campaign, although their gradual improvement in recent years is a minor silver lining. That would take us to conference record where the Wolves have a better one than the Spurs and Denver might potentially tie depending on what happens in the Spurs' last game. In the end, both teams turned in good efforts-but someone had to win.

After the game, the Timberwolves expressed to ESPN how emotional he was with the team making the playoffs because of a promise he made to former Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders, who passed away in October 2015.

Paul Millsap's return from a wrist injury was critical in the late charge, but Denver's young core is the main reason it almost reached the postseason.

Minnesota was getting what they needed out of Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns; each had 16 points in the first half. Gary Harris (17.6 points) and Jamal Murray (16.7 points) each are contributing offensively as well. The Nuggets are 5 in the league by dishing out 25.2 assists per game. With the return of Jimmy Butler, the Timberwolves are in full force.

The Timberwolves' win on Wednesday (Thursday in the Philippines) at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota officially eliminated the Nuggets and ended Minnesota franchise's NBA-leading 13-year playoff drought. The Nuggets are 31-10 straight up at home this season, but only 15-25 on the road. Behind Chris Webber's double-double (23 points, 17 rebounds), the Bullets defeated Cleveland by a final score of 85-81.

They haven't always displayed that attitude down the stretch, which is why they weren't able to clinch that long-sought spot before their 82nd game.

Barricades go up outside hospital for royal baby's birth
Crowd barriers are erected opposite the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in central London on April 9, 2018 . Without it, television crews, reporters, and photographers are not able to set up.

Towns is just scratching the surface with what he is capable of, but this final game of the regular season is where all of his focus lies.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, boarded a flight back to Denver late Wednesday knowing they'll need to wait at least one more year for their first taste of postseason basketball. Nikola Jokic finishes the season averaging 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists, which led all centers. "So you've got to give the guys that are out there on the court more respect than I think people give them credit for".

What (or who) makes this Rockets team any different than last year's squad? .

For the Timberwolves, a win would secure their first playoff appearance since 2004.

It seems like they should be better or younger. "They'll work harder this summer and come back ready to play".

Utah rookie Donovan Mitchell, who the night before set the new single-season record for 3-pointers with 186 - breaking Lillard's rookie mark - was 1-for-8 from the perimeter.

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