The Wolves have passed a lot of playoff tests, but not this one

The postseason has already taught us many useful things about the Timberwolves, with No. 1 in bold on the list being that we should never count them out.

Remembering how they came back from a 20-point deficit to defeat Denver on the road in Game 7 of the conference semifinals, for example, should help anyone avoid panic over Wednesday's 108-105 loss to Dallas in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals at Target Center. This still feels like a long series, and I fully expect the Wolves to be better on Friday.

That said, my belief is fueled at least in part by another thing we have learned about the Wolves over the past few weeks that is more of a mixed bag: They have thrived when expectations were lower, and stumbled when expectations were higher.

Five examples, with multiple swings in each direction: Sweeping the Suns after entering the series as slight underdogs because Phoenix swept them in the regular season; taking a surprising 2-0 lead with consecutive road wins at defending NBA champion Denver; falling flat and losing three straight games against the Nuggets after a sweep was much-discussed; rescuing themselves with an unexpected blowout win in Game 6 and a stunning comeback at Denver in Game 7; then falling at home to Dallas as the Game 1 favorite.

They have been much better at responding to adversity than handling prosperity, as Chip Scoggins and I talked about on a late night Daily Delivery special edition podcast after Game 1.

That puts them in a comfortable place going into Game 2 on Friday, and if history holds it should help them respond with the sort of energy and desperation they will need to win.

But at some point in this series, if they are going to reach the NBA finals, they will need to also handle prosperity. Eliminating Dallas will require winning at least one game that they are expected to win based on how the series is going. Maybe it's Game 5 at Target Center if the series is tied 2-2. Maybe it's Game 7 at Target Center if the series is tied 3-3.

The burden of expectation can be daunting and is certainly unfamiliar to the Wolves. If they afford themselves the opportunity to carry it again, they must handle it better.

Here are four more things to know today:

*Caitlin Clark's Indiana Fever team fell to 0-5 with a loss at Seattle on Wednesday. That's as many losses as Clark endured during the entirety of her 34-5 final year at Iowa.

*Rachel Blount will be my guest on Thursday's regularly scheduled podcast to talk about PWHL Minnesota. Game 3 of the league finals against Boston is Friday at Xcel Energy Center.

*The Twins are starting another streak in the right direction after winning two games in Washington. Twins beat writer Bobby Nightengale Jr. will join me on Friday's podcast for a breakdown of all the ups and downs for the Twins.

*Gophers baseball coach John Anderson is irreplaceable, but they are going to try anyway. Pitching coach Ty McDevitt was named the head coach of the team; Anderson retired this spring after 43 seasons as head coach.