It’s an interconference matchup between a pair of teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended today in the nation’s capital. The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the road as they travel to face the Washington Wizards Tuesday night. Minnesota snapped a three game skid as they knocked off he Warriors 109-103 at home Sunday afternoon. Washington was walloped 129-102 on the road by Miami Saturday night in their latest contest. The Wizards lead the all-time regular season series 31-23, including a 92-89 road win in the first matchup this season on November 28, 2017.
Minnesota Timberwolves Seek Back to Back Wins vs. Division Leaders
Minnesota had lost three straight but came up with a gritty win over a banged up Golden State squad to get back on track. The Timberwolves look to take down a second straight division leader in this contest. Minnesota led by 10 after one quarter, trailed by seven at the half and was tied after three quarters before gaining control in the fourth: they scored the first four points of the stanza and never looked back. The Timberwolves shot 46.3 percent from the field and connected on six of 20 three point attempts while limiting Golden State to 40.7 percent shooting. Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 31 points and 16 boards in the win.
The Timberwolves come into this game 6th in scoring with 109.7 points a game. Minnesota is 24th in rebounding with 42 boards a night and 15th in assists by dishing out 22.7 dimes per contest. The Timberwolves are 16th in scoring defense as they allow 107.1 points per game. Andrew Wiggins is third on Minnesota with 17.9 points plus 4.2 boards a game. Karl-Anthony Towns averages 20.5 points plus 12.2 rebounds, Jamal Crawford adds 10.2 points a night, Jimmy Butler kicks in a team leading 22.2 points and 5.4 rebounds while Jeff Teague adds 13.6 points plus seven assists a contest: he returned to the lineup January 10 after missing seven games with a sprained MCL. Minnesota has to get production from Gorgui Dieng, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson (12.5 points, 7.2 rebounds), Tyus Jones and Nemanja Bjelica as their bench group. Butler suffered a torn meniscus against the Rockets February 23: he underwent surgery on the 25th and is considered out until early April at best. The Timberwolves are 3rd in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 47.9 percent from the floor. Minnesota is 29th in the league in threes with eight per game and is 20th in the league in three point shooting as they’ve hit 35.6 percent of their attempts from downtown.
Washington Wizards Trying to Protect Southeast Division Lead
Washington was hammered by Miami and saw their lead in the Southeast Division get trimmed. The Wizards entered Monday with a two game edge on the Heat with 15 games to play in the season: they were fifth in the Eastern Conference. Washington trailed by six after the opening quarter and by 12 at the half before Miami put it away with a 43-28 bulge in the third quarter. The Wizards were held to 44.2 percent shooting in the game, including seven of 20 from three point range. Washington turned the ball over 15 times and allowed Miami to shoot 59.1 percent in the contest. Jodie Meeks had 23 off the bench to lead the Wizards.
The Wizards are 11th in the league in scoring offense with 107.2 points per game. Washington is 20th in the league on the glass with 43 boards per game. The Wizards are 5th with 24.7 assists per game. Washington is 15th in the league as they allow 105.8 points per game on the year. John Wall is second on the team with 19.4 points and 9.3 assists per game. Wall missed three weeks while receiving PRP treatment on his knee earlier this season: he underwent a procedure on his knee on January 31 and currently is expected back in late March. Bradley Beal averages a team high 23.2 points a game while Otto Porter Jr. (15 points, 6.4 boards, 1.59 steals) continues to move along his development curve. Markieff Morris (11.1 points, 5.8 boards) and Marcin Gortat (8.5 points, 7.7 rebounds) are the other Washington starters and both are capable scoring options in the low block. Kelly Oubre Jr. (11.9 points, 4.6 rebounds) along with Tomas Satoransky, Jodie Meeks, Mike Scott and Tim Frazier will be looked at to contribute off the pine. Washington is 11th in field goal percentage as the team shoots a collective 46.7 percent from the floor. The Wizards are 22nd in the league with 9.8 triples a night while ranking tied for 4th in three point shooting. Washington hits 37.3 percent from downtown.
- No Key Trends
- Wizards are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
Washington was clobbered by Miami in the second game of a back to back in their last outing. The good thing for the Wizards is that they have had two days off to recover and try and get focused again. Washington is at home but they’ve had their struggles there this season, which is surprising considering how well they played at home in the last couple seasons. Minnesota is coming off a gut check win over Golden State and now goes on the road. Towns had a big game against the Warriors: I like him to come up with a solid night here as Minnesota walks out with a road victory.
Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves +4
Washington looked lethargic against the Heat Saturday night as they were whipped from pillar to post. The Wizards gave up far too many open looks and easy buckets: you can’t allow a team to shoot north of 59 percent and hope to have much of a shot of winning. Wall is progressing but the team still isn’t sure when he’ll return to action, though the hope is sooner rather than later of course. Minnesota added Rose, a point guard that surprisingly, the Wizards didn’t kick the tires on after Utah released him. Perhaps he’ll be a good fit with Gibson, Butler and Thibodeau: only time will tell on that front. He played just seven minutes in his debut against the Warriors.
The over is 6-0 in the Timberwolves’ last 6 games playing on 1 day of rest, 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Eastern Conference foes, 7-1 in their last eight against an opponent who allowed at least 100 points in their last game and 10-3 in their last 13 overall. Washington has seen the over go 7-0 in their last seven at home against teams with a road winning percentage below .400 and 4-1-1 in their last six after a double digit straight up loss. The teams have gone over the total in four of their last five meetings here: given Washington’s disregard for defense lately and Minnesota’s high powered offense, this one should exceed the number.