Winters in Minnesota are traditionally cold and uninviting. Appropriate perhaps that the Timberwolves have assumed the identity of the land whence they came.
During an eleven-year playoff drought, the longest in the NBA, the T-Wolves have only once finished with a .500 record, no great deviation for a franchise batting less than 40% during its lifetime.
And this season, bar a miracle, will extend their streak to 12 with Minny going into Friday’s visit to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the back of eight consecutive losses that have left them 12-28 and doomed, once again, to irrelevance.
It is not as if there is not talent. The reigning Rookie of the Year in Andrew Wiggins. The 1.40 favourite to succeed him in Karl-Anthony Towns, who has averaged 14.5 points and 9.7 rebounds over his last ten games.
Throw in Zach LaVine, Nemanja Bjelica and even Ricky Rubio and there are some pieces to build around.
But this is a team that seems mentally shot, despite the figure of Kevin Garnett as its psychological totem. The Wolves are just 2-4 in games decided by 5 or less. And a woeful 3-22 when opponents score over 100, a sign of doom against an OKC squad that hasn’t missed the century over its last ten games, a spell that has seen them average 111.6 per night.
Minnesota – who rank dead last in three-pointers converted - has only scored three figures once in its slump, which is why backing the Thunder at -13.5 on the handicap is a mere 2.07. One-way traffic is expected.
They might hope for some respite on Sunday when the fast-falling Phoenix Suns come to visit. Even then, their rivals in the race to the bottom have enough offense to prevail with -6.5 on the handicap worth a punt.
It figures to be freezing and miserable in the land of the T-Wolves for some time to come.
Best bet: Look at under 204.5 points in Timberwolves-Thunder at 2.38.