Minnesota Timberwolves‍ Playoff History

Last Modified Apr 8, 2024 13:30 GMT
Minnesota Timberwolves‍ Playoff History
Minnesota Timberwolves‍ (Credit: Getty Images)


The Minnesota Timberwolves made their entry into the NBA as an expansion team in 1989. It was the return of NBA basketball to Minneapolis after the relocation of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles in 1960. Initially, the Timberwolves faced challenges in the NBA as they lacked star players.


However, a turning point came in the 1995 NBA draft when the Timberwolves selected high school standout Kevin Garnett (KG) with the fifth overall pick. Garnett's arrival resulted in a highly successful era for the Timberwolves, spanning from 1995 to 2007. Garnett's exciting, highlight-filled two-way gameplay generated a ton of excitement among fans back then and propelled the Timberwolves franchise to prominence. KG earned the Timberwolves franchise a significant following during his tenure.


Following Garnett's departure in a blockbuster trade, the Timberwolves entered the Kevin Love era in the first half of the 2010s decade. Love's unique talent and gameplay kept the Timberwolves competitive, but they failed to reach the playoffs due to the formidable competition in the Western Conference. Later in the second half of the 2010s decade, the Timberwolves ushered in the Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns era featuring promising young talent. However, the Timberwolves again struggled to secure playoff berths in the fiercely competitive Western Conference.


Eventually in 2020, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ future started looking promising yet again as they drafted explosive shooting guard Anthony Edwards with the number one overall pick. This marked the beginning of a new era as “Ant-Man” Edwards is known for his bold and fearless leadership.


How many times have the Minnesota Timberwolves‍ made the playoffs?

Minnesota Timberwolves‍ Playoff History
Minnesota Timberwolves‍ Credit: Getty Images


The Minnesota Timberwolves‍ have made the NBA playoffs a total of 11 times since their inception in the 1989-1990 NBA season. Despite their limited playoff appearances, the Timberwolves had a noteworthy stretch of success from the 1996-1997 season to the 2003-2004 season as they qualified for the playoffs in each of those seasons.


The 1996 to 2004 Timberwolves era is often regarded as their most successful, with franchise superstar Kevin Garnett leading the way. After that great period, Timberwolves made the NBA playoffs only three times in the next 18 seasons. However, the Timberwolves have now made it to the back-to-back playoffs in tough western conferences and the future looks bright for the franchise.


Minnesota Timberwolves‍ Playoff Record

Minnesota Timberwolves‍ Playoff History
Minnesota Timberwolves‍ (Credit: Getty Images)

The Minnesota Timberwolves‍ have an overall playoff record of 21-42 throughout their franchise history.

The Minnesota Timberwolves experienced their most impressive playoff run in 2004, advancing to the Western Conference Finals. In the first round of the 2004 playoffs, the Timberwolves faced the Denver Nuggets led by Marcus Camby and Andre Miller, and defeated them in five games.

After that, the Minnesota Timberwolves were engaged in a tough battle with the Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference Semifinals, a series that went to a decisive Game 7. It was in this “win or go home” game that Kevin Garnett delivered a memorable performance, scoring 31 points and grabbing 21 rebounds to carry the Timberwolves into the Western Conference Finals. However, this Timberwolves journey came to an end against the dominant duo of Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, who were reigning over the NBA at the time.


Number of conference finals won by Minnesota Timberwolves‍

Minnesota Timberwolves‍ Playoff History
Minnesota Timberwolves‍ (Credit: Getty Images)

The Minnesota Timberwolves‍ have not won western conference finals in their history. Timberwolves are one of only five NBA teams who have never played in the NBA finals, with others being the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte Hornets, and New Orleans Pelicans. Despite lack of success in the playoffs, the Timberwolves made a memorable run to the Western Conference Finals in 2004.


Number of NBA championships won by Minnesota Timberwolves‍

Minnesota Timberwolves‍ Playoff History
Minnesota Timberwolves‍ (Credit: Getty Images)

Since their establishment in Minneapolis in the 1989-1990 NBA season, the Timberwolves have not won an NBA championship title. Their greatest playoff run has been the 2004 run to the western conference finals.


Minnesota Timberwolves‍ Last Playoff Appearance

Minnesota Timberwolves‍ Playoff History
Minnesota Timberwolves‍ (Credit: Getty Images)

The Minnesota Timberwolves last playoff appearance was in the 2023 NBA playoffs. The Timberwolves reached the 2023 postseason but were defeated by the eventual champions Denver Nuggets in the first round, falling in five games.

Despite being down 3-0 and on the verge of a sweep, the Timberwolves put up a resilient fight. Led by Anthony "Ant-Man" Edwards, who scored 34 points, Timberwolves managed to bring the series to a 3-1 scoreline. However, the Nuggets ultimately closed out the series in Game 5 to secure a 4-1 victory and advance in the 2023 playoffs.


What is the biggest playoff series comeback in the Minnesota Timberwolves ‍ history?

The biggest playoff series comeback in the Minnesota Timberwolves history occurred during the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals. The Sacramento Kings won Game 1 of the series to take a 1-0 lead against the Kevin Garnett-led Timberwolves. However, the Timberwolves rallied and ultimately won the hard-fought brutal seven game series. This amazing turnaround stands as the only instance in the Timberwolves' 35-year history in which they came back from behind to win a playoff series.

FAQ's On Minnesota Timberwolves‍ Playoff History

A. The Minnesota Timberwolves have never reached the NBA finals in their 35 years of existence in the NBA.

A. The Minnesota Timberwolves currently play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference.

A. No. The Minnesota Timberwolves have never‍ won the NBA championship.

A. The Minnesota Timberwolves‍ have won a total of 21 playoff games throughout their franchise history, as of April 2024. 

A. The Minnesota Timberwolves‍ made their last playoff appearance in 2023. The Timberwolves lost against the eventual champions Denver Nuggets in the first round of 2023 NBA playoffs. 

A. The Minnesota Timberwolves‍ most notable playoff series comeback occurred during the 2004 NBA playoffs against the Sacramento Kings. After dropping the first game of the series and trailing 1-0, the Timberwolves rallied back and eventually won the tough series in seven games.

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