Three NBA teams are in the middle of their worst skids of the season, with the Minnesota Timberwolves on the verge of a double-digit losing streak. Meanwhile, it’s been super cold in Charlotte and Cleveland, with the Hornets stuck in an eight-game losing streak and the Cavs seeking a way out of their seven-game tailspin.
As bad as the Hornets and Timberwolves played as of late, both teams have a shot at a playoff berth. The Eastern Conference lacks depth this year, which is why two teams with a losing record would qualify for the postseason with the #7 and #8 seeds. The Hornets need help, but they’re only five games behind the Brooklyn Nets (19-26), who currently occupy the #8 seed.
The Timberwolves started the season 7-4, but have gone 8-27 since then. They T-Wolves lost 11 games in a row at one point in December.
Karl-Anthony Towns is finally back in the lineup in Minnesota after missing four weeks with a knee injury. Towns has a huge task ahead of him trying to get the T-Wolves to snap out of their funk. They’ve lost nine games and counting.
Current NBA Losing Streaks
0-9 Minnesota Timberwolves (15-31)
0-8 Charlotte Hornets (15-31)
0-7 Cleveland Cavs (12-34)
The Cavs, under rookie head coach John Beilein, are the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference, and the third-worst team in the NBA.
The Cavs dropped eight games earlier this season. That was in the middle of a 2-16 stretch that began in mid-November, and ended with a three-game winning streak before Christmas.
The Timberwolves went 5-10 without Towns in the lineup. He’s been back for six games now, but Minnesota continues their losing ways. Even 40 points from Towns couldn’t lift the T-Wolves over the Chicago Bulls.
Just the other night, Townes dropped 37 in a losing effort against Oklahoma City. Overall, he’s averaged 29.1 points per game since returning to action 10 days ago.
“Losing’s not me, it’s not none of us,” said Shabazz Napier. “It’s tough, man. It hurts. I really mean it when I say it hurts. It hurts really bad.”
Sacramento (16-29) comes to Minneapolis, where the T-Wolves are only 6-17 on the season. The T-Wolves are right behind them at the bottom of the West Coast standings. Only the Warriors are a worse team out west.
If the T-Wolves can’t end their losing streak against Sacramento, they hit the road for a pair of road games in California. They play at the LA Clippers (33-14) next weekend, and then fly up to Sacramento to take on the Kings next Monday.
If by chance, the T-Wolves continue to falter, they’ll look forward to hosting the worst team in the league on Feb. 5. when Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks (12-35) come to town.
Buzz City Meh
The Charlotte Hornets struggled over their last 18 games, with a 3-15 stretch. During that span, two of their wins were by just three points.
The Hornets ended a six-game losing streak with back-to-back wins, including a squeaker victory over the Cleveland Cavs to kick off the new year. They followed that up with an impressive, overtime thriller against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.
Since then, the Hornets have looked all out of sorts. They lost an overtime game by two points against the Toronto Raptors, and lost to the Portland Trail Blazers (20-27) by three points. The rest of their games during their current losing streak have been blowouts, or near-blowouts.
The Hornets couldn’t hold the lead in Paris against the Greek Freak and the Milwaukee Bucks (40-6). The Bucks rallied back to win by 13 points, extending their winning streak to eight games. Meanwhile, the loss in France extended the Hornets losing streak to eight.
The only bright spot in Buzz City has been the development of point guard Devonte’ Graham. He leads the team with 18.6 points, and is ranked #7 overall in the NBA with 7.6 assists per game.
The Hornets host the hapless Knicks on Tuesday in Charlotte. If they can’t beat the Knicks (13-34), they could snap their streak on the road against the Washington Wizards (15-30) on Thursday.
The Cleveland Cavs are in the middle of a a 3-12 stretch, including eight losses in a row. During their eight-game losing streak, the Cavs lost two somewhat close games, including a crushing 2-point loss at the Chicago Bulls.
The Cavs have a short trip to Detroit to play the Pistons (17-30) on Monday evening. They have a back-to-back game set for Tuesday, but it marks a four-game home stand. Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans (18-29) come to Cleveland on Tuesday night.
The Cavs are tied for the worst home record in the NBA with a 6-17 clip.
There’s a high percentage chance the Cavs’ skid reaches double digits, but the good news is that they face two of the worst teams in the NBA with upcoming games against the Golden State Warriors (10-27) and New York Knicks (13-34).