We are officially two weeks away from the start of the best time of the NBA year, the playoffs, which are up there with MLB's Opening Day and, of course, March Madness.

While the league's best teams are either jockeying for a playoff spot or home-court advantage, several of them will have to do so without key players. Let's take a look who could be impacted most:

Minnesota Timberwolves

While he's expected to be back in the next week after missing the last 14 games, the Wolves need Jimmy Butler to return from his torn-knee cartilage injury to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Time's ticking in Minnesota, as the West is stacked with one game separating teams fourth through eighth in the final weeks of the season.

Expectations have not been met this season for the Wolves, and missing the playoffs would be disastrous. A healthy Jimmy Butler could save Minnesota from that harsh reality.

Philadelphia 76ers

Philly got Fultz back but may have lost All-Star big man Joel Embiid for the first round of the playoffs in the process (See what I did there). Embiid and Fultz collided during Thursday night's game against the New York Knicks, and suffered a fractured orbital bone, while going through concussion protocol. He's expected to miss two to four weeks. The 76ers have trusted the process all the way to this point, but need Embiid at full strength to make a playoff push.

Golden State Warriors

Stop me if you've heard this before. Steph Curry sidelined with a knee injury. Even with an injury that could keep their best player out for the first-round, no one will feel the least bit sorry for the Golden State Warriors, for they still have 3 All-Stars on the roster, as you may know.

But even with Durant's efficient offense, Klay's shot-making ability, and Draymond being a triple-double machine, Golden State will never be at full power without Curry.

Boston Celtics

Kyrie Irving underwent a minor, but successful knee surgery to remove a tension wire this week. He's expected to miss 3-6 weeks, leaving a young team relying heavily on its bench to continue to win games while Irving sits. That may work for now, but to be a real threat to knock Lebron off his throne, the C's desperately need Kyrie back to be at full strength. A first-round matchup against a team like Miami or Milwaukee would be a tall task for an Irving-less Boston Celtics squad.

Many of our questions will finally be answered in the next few weeks. Will Golden State make it three out of four? Can someone in the East actually prevent LeBron from making his eighth consecutive finals appearance? Is Houston for real, or will their season be defined in the regular season? The Cavs' injury bug [VIDEO] seems to never stop.

Toronto [VIDEO]is looking to finally prove they are capable of a playoff run. There are many intriguing headlines going into the playoffs. This regular season has been one of the most exciting in recent memory, but the playoffs are a different animal. Every game matters. Every possession matters this time of year. Playoff basketball.

However, you need to be at full strength to make a run.