By Mark Remme

Well, the 2013-14 season is on the home stretch after this weekend’s All-Star Game in New Orleans. All teams have about 30 games left to play until the postseason opens up in mid-April, and in that span we’ll find out who will get a shot at a second season. Will the Wolves be part of it? They’ve got some work ahead of them as they currently sit 25-28 overall, six games back of the eighth spot in the competitive West. It’s not out of the question, but there is little margin for error at this point. Here are five things to watch for in Minnesota’s final 29 games that will dictate whether or not the Wolves will earn a postseason berth.

Who will step up on the defensive end?

Minnesota does have perimeter players who they feel can deter defensive schemes in both Corey Brewer and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Ricky Rubio is capable of slipping into passing lanes and causing turnovers. But interior defense is crucial, and the Wolves need to have players step up and be able to at the very least deter teams from attacking the rim. Who will step up?

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