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Charlotte Bobcats vs Minnesota Timberwolves game preview

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Gametime: 7:00 p.m. EST

The Minnesota Timberwolves are an interesting case this year. They boast top-10 offensive and defensive efficiencies in the NBA and have the 7th best point differential in the Western Conference. Yet they are almost certainly out of the playoff race with a record of 32-31, five games back from Dallas for the 8 seed.

But unfortunately for them, they have played so inconsistently that they've lost a ton of close games even on the heel of huge blowout victories.

Last time, Charlotte was on the receiving end of one of those blowouts, a 27-point butt-kicking in which Minnesota dropped a 39-point second quarter.

Kevin Love has been on a pretty impressive scoring kick recently, which will be something scary to keep an eye out for. Generally speaking, the Bobcats' defense is quite solid but it's had some trouble against players who can create their own shots at an elite level with shooting range like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Love's got a dependable jump shot beyond the arc, which could give the Bobcats some trouble with their defensive scheming.

But the Bobcats have reclaimed their defensive acumen and rounded out their offense since the last time these two teams met.

As the number of remaining games dwindles, the Bobcats have a lower margin for error in their efforts to get a better playoff seeding. A mere 2.5 games separates Charlotte from the 6 seed. If the Bobcats can pull out victories against the tougher teams at home, they could end up in good position for the postseason.