Portland Trail Blazers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 keys to a Blazers victory tonight

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Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)

The inconsistent Portland Trail Blazers will be hoping to get back on track against the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight. Here are three must-haves for a victory.

It’s difficult to ever call an early-January game a “must-win.” But considering the angst surrounding the Portland Trail Blazers seven games in, a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves would go a long way towards easing tensions.

Amidst the Blazers’ offseason talk about their aspirations — Damian Lillard’s championship text to Enes Kanter, or Jusuf Nurkic’s All-Star hopes — most knew it would come down to one question: could Portland win enough of the winnable games?

It could be forgiven if the Blazers fell short against the Clippers, as they did last week. But in blowing a 20-point lead to a Bulls team with two back-to-back 22-win seasons?

Needless to say, it’ll be difficult to trust the Portland Trail Blazers on any given night until they prove they can win against mediocre teams. Especially since they absorbed 16 losses to teams below .500 a season ago.

Tonight’s game offers another chance to get back on track, with a Northwest Division duel against the Timberwolves. Minnesota comes in with a 2-5 record, as 10-point underdogs, and they’ll be hitting the floor without All-NBA big man Karl-Anthony Towns. If only games were played on paper,

If the Blazers hope to get back to .500, here are three unique keys to keep tabs on.

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