Minnesota Timberwolves (14-26 SU, 19-21 ATS, 19-21 O/U) vs. Dallas Mavericks (12-27 SU, 18-21 ATS, 17-21-1 O/U)
NBA: Sunday, January 15, 2017, American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas, 2 pm ET
Line: N/A; Over/Under: N/A
It’s a matchup of two of the worst teams in the Western Conference meeting up in the Lone Star State. The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the road as they battle the Dallas Mavericks for the second time this week Sunday afternoon. Minnesota won their third straight with a 96-86 home win over the Thunder Friday night. Dallas hung on for a 113-108 road win over the Suns in a game played in Mexico City Thursday. The Mavericks have a 65-45 advantage in the all-time series but it was the Timberwolves taking a 101-92 home win in the first matchup this season on January 9.
Minnesota Timberwolves Go for Fourth Straight Win
Minnesota has reeled off three straight wins as they stifled Oklahoma City in the second half, shutting down Russell Westbrook in the process. The Timberwolves led by two after the first quarter and trailed by five at the half. Minnesota took control of the game by outscoring Oklahoma City 29-18 in the third quarter. The Timberwolves limited the Thunder to 38.8 percent shooting overall and just 3 of 20 from beyond the arc. Minnesota knocked down 45.3 percent from the floor despite going 5 of 18 from beyond the arc. Karl-Anthony Towns put up 29 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked three shots to lead the Timberwolves in the win.
The Timberwolves come into this game 19th in scoring with 103.3 points a game. Minnesota is just 20th in rebounding with 43 boards a night and tied for 11th in assists by dishing out 22.7 dimes per contest. The Timberwolves are 14th in scoring defense as they allow 104.1 points per game. Andrew Wiggins is leading the team with 22 points per game while Zach LaVine is contributing nicely with a 20.4 point per game mark. Karl-Anthony Towns puts up 21.9 points plus 12 boards while Gorgui Dieng (10.4 points, 7.6 rebounds) is a solid low post presence. Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones are running the point remarkably well as rookies and split time with Ricky Rubio. Shabazz Muhammad, Brandon Rush, Jordan Hill and Cole Aldrich are reserves that Minnesota looks to for valuable minutes. The Timberwolves are 12th in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 45.7 percent from the floor. Minnesota is 28th in threes with 8.1 per game and is tied for 20th in the league in three point shooting as they’ve hit 35 percent of their attempts from downtown.
Dallas Mavericks Try for Back to Back Wins
Dallas picked up a win over the Suns in the NBA’s foray to Mexico City but it wasn’t easy by any stretch. The Mavericks trailed by two at the half but outscored the Suns 31-17 in the third quarter to open a 12 point lead. Dallas struggled in the fourth quarter and saw the Suns make a run, though they were able to hang on. The Mavericks shot 48.3 percent from the field in the game and knocked down 15 of their 34 three point attempts in the game. Dallas was beaten badly on the glass by a 47-32 margin but forced 19 turnovers to get the win. Deron Williams led the Mavericks with 23 points and 12 assists in the victory.
The Mavericks have struggled on the offensive end of the floor this season. Dallas is last in the league in scoring with 95.6 points per game. The Mavericks are last in rebounding with 37.9 boards per contest and are fourth worst in the league with 19.9 assists per game. Dallas is above average on the defensive end, ranking 4th in scoring defense with 100.8 points per game. Harrison Barnes leads the team with 20.8 points plus 5.4 rebounds a night. J.J. Barea puts up 12.1 points plus 5.2 assists a night while Deron Williams contributes 14 points plus 6.8 assists per night. Wesley Matthews chips in 15.1 points a game while Dirk Nowitzki kicks in 13.2 points plus 5.4 boards. Seth Curry (10.1 points), Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson and Dorian Finney-Smith are other players that need to step up and help the Mavericks. Dallas is tied for 27th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 43.3 percent as a team. The Mavericks are 6th in threes with 10.6 per game but are 19th in three point shooting by hitting only 35.1 percent from beyond the arc.
- Timberwolves are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall
- Timberwolves are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. Western Conference
- Timberwolves are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win
- Mavericks are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win
The Mavericks picked up a road win and return home here. Minnesota has been playing well and handled the Thunder even without LaVine in the lineup. Andrew Bogut is out for the time being for the Mavericks, taking a major big man out of the middle. He would have been important to try and keep a body on Towns, who is quickly developing into an elite big man. With him out of the mix, and Dallas’s struggles on the offensive side of things, you have to lean toward the Timberwolves to get a fourth straight win.
Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves
Both teams come into this contest with victories in their last game, which is a rare enough occurrence when you factor in that their combined mark this season is 26-53. Minnesota has won three straight games and really stifled the Thunder in the second half of their win Friday. The Timberwolves actually played some defense, which had to be music to Tom Thibodeau’s ears: Russell Westbrook missed his first 12 shots in the second half. Minnesota has some momentum here and beat Dallas earlier in the week. The Mavericks got a win over the Suns but nearly gave it away late.
The Timberwolves have gone under the line in five of their last six against the Western Conference and four of their last five on one day of rest. In addition, the under is 8-2 in Minnesota’s last 10 after a straight up win and 8-3 in their last 11 Sunday games. Dallas has gone under the total in their last six Sunday games and in seven of their last eight after scoring at least 100 points. In this series, the under has gone 5-1-1 in their last seven meetings. Seeing the teams came under the total early this week, it’s a safe bet to lean that way here as well.