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Wolves vs Jazz: The Fight Continues

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Minnesota squares off against the Jazz again, this time in Minneapolis

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Wolves (25-24) vs Jazz (28-22)

6:00pm CST

FS North

We get the same matchup as Friday night, only this time the Wolves will be at home when they square off with the Jazz.

The keys to victory are obviously similar to Friday. Feed KAT as much of possible, and get him out on the perimeter against Gobert. If there’s a crossmatch with the bigs, let Towns post them up.

There are definitely other keys to the game, but the way KAT is playing he really is what determines whether Minnesota wins or not. I have no doubt that KAT will be the best player while he’s on the court. It’s a nightly thing for him now. This has to be the best stretch of play in his career. He’s doing everything so well. Passing, shooting, defending, everything.

The big thing is staying on the court. The constant foul trouble is a real issue. The only person that can slow KAT down right now is himself, and you can be sure that Donovan Mitchell and company will go at him early and often to try to get him into foul trouble. The way Towns has been contesting shots at the rim has been outstanding, but he may need to tone it back a bit in order to stay on the floor.

The other thing that Minnesota needs to do is figure out a way to get Dario Saric going. He’s been in quite a funk recently, shooting just 36.5% from the field and 28.6% from three over his past 10 games. The Wolves desperately need Saric to make shots and be the leader of the second unit while shorthanded. It feels like he’s getting pretty good looks that just aren’t falling, so eventually he should snap out of it. The sooner that happens, the better.

In terms of playoff positioning, it’s another important day for Minnesota. With a win and a Clippers loss (vs Kings), the Wolves would again get back to .500 and just two games back of the 8th seed.

I’m beginning to feel more optimistic about Minnesota’s playoff aspirations as they continue to hang around without RoCo, Teague and Tyus for extended periods of time. Teague and Rose are both out again tonight.

The Wolves schedule isn’t terrible coming up, so they could get themselves into a very good spot before so many key contributors come back.

Bet of the night

I’m in no way saying that you SHOULD make these bets. I’m not betting them. It’s just a fun extra thing that I’ll be tracking for the remainder of the season. All lines via Bovada.

So gambling is really cruel. We fell to 1-2 on the season Friday night, losing those two bets by a combined 1.5 points. That’s pretty tough. It’s time to get back in the win column on this fine Sunday.

The pick: Timberwolves +4 (-110)

I know it would be a homer thing to do to pick the Timberwolves in every game, but I actually love them tonight. When two teams play a home-and-home in the regular season, the teams usually split those games.

Men and women lie, number don’t. Wolves moneyline (+160) isn’t a bad bet either.

Projected Lineups

Wolves

Jerryd Bayless

Josh Okogie

Andrew Wiggins

Taj Gibson

Karl-Anthony Towns

Jazz

Ricky Rubio

Donovan Mitchell

Joe Ingles

Derrick Favors

Rudy Gobert