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Game Preview #52: Wolves at Pacers

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Wolves look for revenge against the Pacers, as YoCleo offers his predictions.

Indiana Pacers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The painful rollercoaster ride that is the ‘20-’21 Timberwolves season continues to putter on! Hopefully you’ve been strapped in because we’ve had ups, (lots of) downs, loops, spins, and crashes in less than 4 months. We also have ourselves another early tip this evening so please thank the scheduling gods for allowing us more time to get over the loss celebrate the win!


Game Info

Who: Minnesota Timberwolves (13-38) at Indiana Pacers (22-27)
When: 6:00 pm CST
TV: Bally Sports North PLUS
Radio: 830 WCCO AM Radio


What To Watch For

  • The Wolves nearly beat the Pacers in OT during their last meeting, on the backs of Karl-Anthony Towns (30 & 10), Ricky Rubio (20 & 13), and benched Malik Beasley (31). Well, the second on that list may no longer be starting due to D’Angelo Russell’s return, and the third is likely out for the season. Conversely, Anthony Edwards who was held to just 8 points on 15 FGA last time, is on a 19 game double-digit scoring streak. It’ll be interesting to see just how different today’s match will go.
  • Things aren’t much rosier in Indiana. The Pacers have lost 4 of their last 5 and find themselves all the way down to 9th in the Eastern Conference standings. Their two franchise cornerstones dominated the Wolves in February, Domantas Sabonis (36/16/10 triple double) and Malcolm Brogdon (32/9/7), but both have missed multiple games in a row and are still questionable for tonight. Add in the fact that both Myles Turner (4 blocks) and Jeremy Lamb (18 & 9) are also listed as questionable, things are looking bleak. Although Caris LeVert, who has led the Pacers in scoring in their last 3 games (20.7), is back in the fold, it might be a long night for Indy.
  • I’ll be continuing to watch the action that Coach Finch runs for D’Lo tonight. There were some beautiful sets Finchy used against Sacramento so hopefully that was just a primer for what we’ll see more of moving forward.
  • Who will emerge as the minutes winner in the wake of the Beasley injury? Josh Okogie has been getting starts, but logged just 20 minutes (-16) on Monday. Jarrett Culver had 7 embarrassing minutes. Jake Layman was tossed 3 minutes of scraps. Is it possible that Finch keeps the rotation just 9-deep until Jaylen Nowell returns?

Injury Report


Predictions

  • If Sabonis and Turner are both ruled out, then I hope KAT enjoys the buffet of post touches that he’ll inevitably receive. He’ll only have Goga Bitadze and JaKarr Sampson (?) to deal with so I don’t anticipate him getting into foul trouble. As a result, YoCleo predicts KAT posting 41 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 stocks.
  • D’Lo will continue to silence his skeptics (Raises hand) as he has yet another strong shooting night, finishing with 30 points highlighted by 7 three pointers. He’ll also give us another ( ͡’ ● ͡’) face and I’ll personally feel attacked, but golf clap in respect.
  • Timberwolves cruise to what feels like just their 2nd easy win of the season, 120-104.
  • If Sabonis, Brogdon, or Turner are active tonight, then I’d reconsider this prediction. I’d say each one of those 3 are worth +8 in favor of Indy. If two of them play, the game might be tight. If all 3 play, then we’re done.