Minnesota Timberwolves (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS, 0-5-1 O/U) vs. Miami Heat (2-3 SU, 0-4-1 ATS, 3-2 O/U)
NBA: Monday, October 30, 2017, American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida, 7:30 pm ET
Line: Minnesota -3; Over/Under: 216
It’s an inter-conference contest down in South Beach. The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the road as they make the trip to face the Miami Heat Monday night. Minnesota snapped a two-game slide by knocking off Oklahoma City 119-116 at home Friday night. Miami lost their second straight game as they were beaten 96-90 at home by the Celtics Saturday night. The Heat has a 32-22 edge in the all-time regular-season series and took both meetings last season, including a 123-105 win here on March 17.
Minnesota Timberwolves Try to Climb Above .500
Minnesota got back to the .500 mark on the year with a win over the Thunder: they’ll look to get over the .500 mark with a win here. Two of the three Timberwolves’ wins this season have come at the expense of Oklahoma City. Minnesota trailed by seven after the opening quarter but managed to go to the locker room tied at the half. The Timberwolves did just enough offensively in the second half to get the win. Minnesota shot 48.8 percent from the field and went 8 of 22 from three-point range in the game. The Timberwolves held a 44-35 edge on the glass in the contest: Karl-Anthony Towns led the team with 33 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks in the win.
The Timberwolves come into this game 9th in scoring with 106.8 points a game. Minnesota is 29th in rebounding with 39.8 boards a night and tied for 9th in assists by dishing out 22.3 dimes per contest. The Timberwolves are tied for 26th in scoring defense as they allow 114.2 points per game. Andrew Wiggins is second on Minnesota with 19.3 points plus 4.5 boards a game. Karl-Anthony Towns averages 24.8 points plus 11.8 rebounds, Jamal Crawford adds 10.2 points a night, Jimmy Butler kicks in 16.3 points and 5.5 rebounds while Jeff Teague adds 12.8 points plus seven assists a contest. Minnesota has to get production from Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Muhammad, Taj Gibson, Tyus Jones and Nemanja Bjelica if they want to be a threat for the postseason. The Timberwolves are tied for 7th in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 46.6 percent from the floor. Minnesota is 24th in the league in threes with 8.5 per game and is 8th in the league in three-point shooting as they’ve hit 37.2 percent of their attempts from downtown.
Miami Heat Look to Regroup
Miami dropped their second straight as they were unable to capitalize on a solid defensive showing in the loss to Boston. The Heat will try to get back to the .500 mark on the season with a win here. Miami led by five after the opening quarter but was outscored 53-37 in the middle two quarters: their fourth-quarter rally fell short. The Heat shot just 43 percent from the field and went a dismal 7 of 31 from three-point range in the contest. Goran Dragic led Miami with 22 points in the loss while Hassan Whiteside missed his fourth straight game with a knee injury.
The Heat has been decent so far this season, ranking 15th in the league with 103 points per game. Miami has been below average on the glass as they are 27th with 40.4 boards per game. The Heat is 14th in assists with 21.6 per contest. Miami comes in tied for 17th in scoring defense as they allow 106 points per game. Hassan Whiteside had 26 points and 22 rebounds in the opener but missed the last four games with a knee bruise. Goran Dragic averages 20.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and four assists per game while Dion Waiters puts up 13.2 points per contest. James Johnson (14 points, 5.8 boards, 5.4 assists), Kelly Olynyk (10.4 points, seven rebounds) and Josh Richardson (13 points, 3.8 rebounds) are solid secondary options. The Heat also look to Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson and Justise Winslow to contribute on both ends. Miami is 9th in field goal percentage as they shoot 46 percent as a team. The Heat stands tied for 12th with 10.4 three pointers a night and 21st in three-point shooting at 32.9 percent.
- No Key Trends
- Heat are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game
- Heat are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 1 day of rest
- Heat are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
Minnesota has won two of their three games against Oklahoma City: in fact, all three of their wins have come against Northwest Division foes. The Timberwolves look to pick up their first win against a team outside the Northwest Division here. Miami is still scuffling as Whiteside’s absence is taking a toll on the team as he is an effective weapon in the low block. The Heat will have a hard time containing Towns if he doesn’t go again in this one. Look for Minnesota to pick up the win in this contest to climb above the .500 mark.
Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota has been good offensively but they still haven’t found their stride on the defensive end of the floor. You’d have to think that coach Tom Thibodeau will get this team on track on that end of the floor sooner rather than later. Miami is playing good defense but their offense lacks polish, especially without Whiteside to man the middle and make teams respect the interior game. The Heat has a good rotation but they have to establish more inside scoring in order to open up some of the perimeter shooting.
The over is 4-0 in the Timberwolves’ last 4 vs. a team with a losing straight up record, 4-0 in their last 4 road games, 6-0 in their last 6 games following a straight up win, 5-0 in their last five against Southeast Division foes and 17-5-1 in their last 23 overall. Miami has seen the over go 4-0 in their last four against the Northwest Division, 5-1 in their last six against the Western Conference, 4-1 in their last five against an opponent that scored at least 100 points in their last game and 4-1 in their last five against an opponent that allowed at least 100 points in their last game. This one seems primed to go over as Minnesota controls the tempo with their offensive assault.