Being (literally) right in the middle of this year's brutal Western Conference playoff race, the Minnesota Timberwolves know a thing or two about what it's like playing under unpredictable circumstances.
In a post-game presser after the Wolves' 6 point win against the Warriors, Karl-Anthony Towns gave an appropriate comparison to the state of affairs in the wild, wild West:
"We needed to get a win. You know five through ten, like I told you before the game, is a swamp and only the real alligators will make it out. So we gotta go out there, we gotta come out the swamp alive."
Had the Wolves lost Sunday night's game, it would have dropped them back two places in the standings, from 5th to 7th and only one game back from being bounced in the post-season picture completely. For the Wolves, and the rest of the conference outside of Houston and Golden State, that's the reality they currently face.
Lose one or two games, and it could mean the difference between homecourt advantage in the first-round and missing the playoffs as a tenth seed. And for anyone to make it out of the swamp alive, they'll have little room for error.
No doubt, it makes life hard for those teams still vying for position. For the rest of us, however, it makes for some darn good entertainment...