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The Timberwolves dropped out of the playoffs last season, losing to the Grizzlies. Minnesota already did the same on the road to Memphis this season - can the Wolves finally recover and win at home?Receive Your Welcome Bonus!
Karl-Anthony Towns is out for a month and a half, which could have been considered a disaster last season. The consequences may also be severe, but on the other hand, watching Minnesota with a lighter five will be interesting. Kyle Anderson will likely take Towns' place in the starting five and is a decent reserve to bolster the Timberwolves' defense. Rudy Gobert won the NBA's best defensive player for a reason, and now he'll have two proper shooting guards at once. We'll have to wait for Jaden McDaniels, who didn't play against Golden State and Washington due to illness. Anthony Edwards should have an easier time with an easier lineup and will have to shoulder the double load on offense.
The Wolves have lost their last three regular season games and are now just 11th in the West. The previous two games were mostly memorable for their terrible defense, and McDaniels' absence had an impact here. Minnesota lost the night before to Washington, 127-42. Edwards scored next to nothing from beyond the arc but was good in the paint. Russell also had trouble shooting three-pointers, Gober made 7 of 7 shots from the field, and one of the best players on the team was Jaylen Nowell, who earned 23 points.
Ja Morant, Desmond Bain, and Jaren Jackson, Jr. has never appeared on the floor at the same time this season. Jackson Jr. missed the start of the regular season, but he is slowly getting back on track, gaining 20+ points in 4 straight games. Bane has not played in his last seven matches, and Memphis failed four during that stretch. Gradually, though, the Grizzlies are adapting. The Bears defeated New Orleans and New York and climbed 4th in the Western Conference. Dillon Brooks throws almost 20 times per game in Bane's absence, but 40% of his assists do not make Desmond an equal substitute. Brooks may not play against Minnesota, Jake LaRavia's participation is questionable, and Danny Green and Ziaire Williams are still injured.
Brooks looked more confident than usual against New York in the recent game, hitting 9 of 16 shots. Brooks combined with Jackson Jr. and Morant for 71 points, and Memphis won 127-123. Jon Konchar and Steven Adams also contributed generously, and the main reason for the Grizzlies' success was the high output of the starting five.
Expert Betting Tips
Jaden McDaniels is one of the key players on the Minnesota defense right now. There's a good chance he'll return, as NBA players must recover quickly from illnesses. Anthony Edwards will have more offensive freedom. The Timberwolves will likely try to unload the paint for the young star's passing game. That would automatically make the Wolves an uncomfortable opponent for Memphis, which scores heavily in the paint. Long-range shots will be a problem without Desmond Bain, and Dillon Brooks is unstable.
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