It all comes down to this. One final matchup to determine the 16th and final playoff spot in the NBA.

    This is the equivalent of the 11-seed play-in game for the NCAA tournament, or the MLB Wild Card playoff game. Everything is on the line. If it feels like this doesn’t happen often, that would be a correct assumption. This is only sixth true one-game playoff in NBA history, and the first in more than two decades.

    Oddly enough the Nuggets have been involved in half of the games. The Wolves hope to put the first blemish on that record with a win on their home floor.

    Hosting the Nuggets at the Target Center is a huge advantage for Minnesota. The Wolves are 29-11 at home with a net rating of 5.5, compared to just 17-24 on the road and a -0.8 net rating. Their offense specifically takes a major leap at home with a 112.6 rating, good for third best in the NBA. They also avoid the high altitude of Denver.

    With a healthy Jimmy Butler back in the fold the Wolves look to be in a great spot of take the final game of the season, but there are areas of concern.

    Taj Gibson’s status is unknown after he left early in the last game with a neck injury. He is the key cog on the interior, and one of the Wolves’ only chances at stopping Nikola Jokic. He’s also an emotional leader for the team and a veteran of these situations. More than anyone else on the floor Taj has extensive playoff experience (which this game basically is).

    Another worry is how tough the Nuggets have been lately. Their backs were to the wall just a couple of weeks ago. Many left them out of the playoff picture after consecutive losses put them in 10th place and a slate of tough games ahead. Instead of succumbing to pressure, the Nuggets went on to win six games in a row. Without this late push they wouldn’t find themselves in this position.

    The pressure is on for both sides and the intensity should be through the roof. The Wolves are looking to break a 13-year drought, while the Nuggets are on their fifth consecutive season out of the playoffs. Both teams were built to be among the top eight in the West and it won’t be fair for one side, but what’s sports without some adversity?

    Should the Timberwolves pull off the victory and celebrate, they could climb to as high as sixth with some help, or stick in eighth. The most likely outcome for tomorrow, based on the odds on favorites, would saddle the Wolves into the eighth seed. The Wolves can only jump to sixth if the Grizzlies beat the Thunder and the Spurs beat the Pelicans.

    A more reasonable outcome would be to hope for a Spurs victory and expect a Thunder win. The Wolves would clinch the seventh seed and face the Warriors in the first round. It’s a daunting task, but without Stephen Curry they have sputtered of late.

    So as the Wolves and Nuggets are battling, keep an eye on the Spurs-Pelicans and Thunder-Grizzlies contests. Each game starts at the same time (all somehow just locally televised) so resolution for the playoff picture should be swift, at least for the bottom teams. The other major battle is for third place in the West between Utah and Portland. That one doesn’t start until later in the night, though.


    Jeff Teague – PG
    Jimmy Butler – SG
    Andrew Wiggins – SF
    Taj Gibson – PF
    Karl-Anthony Towns – C


    Jamal Murray – PG
    Will Barton – SG
    Wilson Chandler – SF
    Nikola Jokic – PF
    Paul Millsap – C


    Taj Gibson (neck) – QUESTIONABLE

    Tyler Lydon (knee) – OUT


    Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    When: 8:00 ET/7:00 CT

    How: Fox Sports North+

Fantasy News

  • Troy Daniels
    SG, Los Angeles Lakers

    Troy Daniels (sprained left knee) did not practice on Tuesday and remains out ahead of Wednesday's matchup with the Warriors.

    Daniels can get hot in a hurry from deep and has the chance to be a deep-league 3-point specialist if he can get back on the court.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Kyle Kuzma
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kyle Kuzma (left foot stress reaction) is improving, but it will take some time for him to get back as he still has some progressions to go through before he can return.

    The team is going to play it very safe with their young forward. Kuzma's timeline is still a bit murky, but it's getting harder to believe he'll be ready for the opener.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Brandon Knight
    PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Brandon Knight (rest) will not play in Tuesday's preseason game against the Celtics.

    Knight joins a long list of Cavs out tonight. The Cavs will likely disperse his minutes among a bevy of guards.

    Source: Spencer Davies on Twitter

  • Dante Exum
    PG, Utah Jazz

    Dante Exum (patellar tendon rehab) is being listed as out for Wednesday's preseason game against the Blazers.

    Injuries have dampened the once-promising rookie's career. He is not on the fantasy radar.

    Source: Jazz on Twitter

  • Markieff Morris
    PF, Detroit Pistons

    Markeiff Morris (illness) will not play in Tuesday's game against the Sixers.

    Morris will join teammates Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin on the bench tonight, opening up a full allotment of minutes in the frontcourt. Christian Wood, Joe Johnson and Thon Maker should see heavy runs tonight.

    Source: Keith Langlois on Twitter

  • Aric Holman
    PF, Dallas Mavericks

    The Mavs waived Aric Holman and Dakota Mathias on Tuesday.

    There is no fantasy relevance here.

    Source: Brad Townsend on Twitter

  • Jake Layman
    SF, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Jake Layman is getting the start at SF on Tuesday against the Pacers.

    Layman remains entirely in the mix for the starting job as we head towards the opener. Jarrett Culver has shown the most this preseason among the SF options, but the team may prefer him in a sixth-man type role. This is a situation worth monitoring.

    Source: Wolves PR on Twitter

  • Andrew Wiggins
    SF, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Andrew Wiggins is getting the start at shooting guard over Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver in Tuesday's preseason game against the Pacers.

    This is a very interesting development for the fantasy values of each. Culver is still worth a look in deep leagues as he can play the 1-3, but Okogie would take the biggest hit of the trio should this be the occurrence on opening night.

    Source: Wolves PR on Twitter

  • Kevin Love
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Kevin Love will play against the Celtics on Tuesday.

    Love is in a good DFS spot tonight as he could be staring at a big day tonight with so many frontcourt teammates sitting out, but it is worth noting that the team plans to watch his minutes carefully.

    Source: Spencer Davies on Twitter

  • Darius Garland
    PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Darius Garland (ankle) will play on Tuesday vs. the Celtics.

    The team will pay attention to their prized 5th pick's minutes in this one with the regular season right around the corner. Garland is an intriguing late-round flier on a talent-strapped Cavs team.

    Source: Spencer Davies on Twitter