State's major men's pro teams: Who will win next in the playoffs?

  • Updated: May 12, 2013 - 11:26 PM
hide

The Vikings, with a significant part in place in Adrian Peterson and with new pieces coming on board, seem positioned best to advance in the playoffs among Minnesota’s four top pro teams.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

As Minnesota’s four major men’s pro sports teams hit rock bottom as a collective in 2011 — none made the playoffs, and they weren’t even particularly close in the end — we wondered which would be the next of the bunch to make the playoffs.

The times now are, at least, better. The Vikings and Wild have been in playoff games this calendar year. The Timberwolves have the makings of a nucleus that could challenge for a spot. The Twins have already moved the needle from hopeless to functional and could be a year away from being downright dangerous.

As such, we revisit the question with the bar set higher: What will be the next of the four to WIN a playoff series — or, in the Vikings’ case, a game? (And yes, we are aware the Lynx and others have done it more recently. Their success eliminates them from this game.)

This is a bit of a dare-we-dream proposition, considering he Vikings’ playoff victory following the 2009 season is the only postseason advancement among the four in the past eight calendar years. Among the other three? The Wolves (in 2004) own the most recent series victory.

But let’s try it anyway, with percentage guesses as to which team is most likely to do it next:

• Vikings: 40 percent. A 10-victory team added talent through the draft, found a receiver in Greg Jennings and a functional backup QB in Matt Cassel. A return trip to the postseason is not a lock, but you don’t have to squint too much to see it, either. Once there, the NFL is the easiest to advance since it’s a one-game proposition.

• Wild: 35 percent. Cornerstone players Zach Parise and Ryan Suter aren’t going anywhere, while young reinforcements are on the way to join the likes of Charlie Coyle, Jonas Brodin and Jason Zucker. A lot of new components were pulled together in a slapdash 48-game season. The Wild took a step this year and could take another next year.

• Twins: 15 percent. It’s probably not happening this year, despite the team’s improvement. Even 2014 might be early. But if the Wild and Vikings don’t win soon, the Twins and a talented young core could be primed to make a push starting in 2015.

• Wolves: 10 percent. Even if the Wolves get the shooting guard they so desperately need … and get a fully healthy and engaged Kevin Love back … the West is loaded and could remain that way. Five teams won at least 56 games in the West this year. The Wolves should set their sights on a return to .500 and then wonder about the next step.

 

MICHAEL RAND




 

  • related content

  • The Wild and goalie Josh Harding left the playoffs disappointed this year.

  • Maybe the NBA’s tough West had Ricky Rubio wearing that dejected look.

  • The Twins and manager Ron Gardenhire appear improved this season.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston - LP: D. Keuchel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 4
Detroit - LP: D. Price 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 1
Arizona - LP: O. Perez 0 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 1
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 8 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 0
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 2 FINAL
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 0
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 3
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 2
Pittsburgh 21 FINAL
Philadelphia 31
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Washington 73 FINAL
Indiana 78
San Antonio 84 FINAL
Minnesota 88
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who would you rather have on your team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close