The Timberwolves could use a dose of optimism after a 3-7 start, and Ricky Rubio provided some Thursday by claiming the team has playoff potential "if we show up for 48 minutes in every single game."

"Sometimes it looks like we can be a playoff team, sometimes it doesn't," the Wolves' rookie point guard said following practice. "We have to realize where we are doing good and where we are doing bad and try to avoid those moments. We could be 5-5 or 6-4 if we play from the beginning of the game at 100 percent."

The Wolves, who play at New Orleans tonight, can use Memphis' 2010-11 season as a barometer for making the Western Conference playoffs.

The Grizzlies earned the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs last season with a 46-36 record - a .561 winning percentage.

Based on that percentage, the Wolves would have to win at least 37 games in the abbreviated 66-game schedule to contend for a playoff spot. To reach 37 wins, the Wolves would have to go 34-22 the rest of the season.

Rubio could find out how tough it is to earn a playoff spot in the Western Conference.