The Minnesota Timberwolves had hoped a possible playoff birth was in the cards for the 2016-2017 season but after not being able to move Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine going down with a ACL injury and the team not collectively becoming much better at defensive than a year ago, this season could end similar to the way it did last year.

The second half of the season for the Minnesota Timberwolves could get pretty rough real fast with other teams hitting their stride and it appearing that the Wolves can't keep pace.

Minnesota did nothing at the trade deadline and instead decided to ride out this season with the group in hand.

Since the All Star break, the Wolves are 1-1, but the way they played against Houston on Saturday night in a blowout loss is probably going to be the more likely result than what we saw against Dallas in the win.

I'm the last one to want to see the Wolves continue to struggle, but I just can't see Wiggins and Towns being able to carry a team that has to play 4 on 5 offensively with the inadequacies of Ricky Rubio, a team that can't play great team D and a team that just doesn't have a deep bench.

Add that all up with the tough road stretch the Wolves have to end the season on, it just seems like the lottery is more of a realistic outcome to this season than a potential playoff birth.

With a healthy LaVine, a trade of Rubio, more experience for the young players and some depth on the bench, next year may be different... but that is the same thing we all said last year and we are in this same position once again.