- Who: Minnesota Timberwolves (5-6) vs. Phoenix Suns (7-3)
- When: 7:00 PM CST
- TV: Bally Sports North (Michael Grady, Jim Peterson, Katie Storm)
- Radio: 830 WCCO-AM
- Line: Wolves -2 | Total: 222 (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
What to Watch for
Here we go again...
There’s a very easy lede to preview this game tonight. Rudy Gobert is back from his stint in Health and Safety protocols, and he comes back for a perfect opportunity for a “get right” game; a date with the 7-3 Phoenix Suns at home who are down key pieces.
Phoenix will be without veteran point guard Chris Paul, who brought them home down the stretch the first time these two teams played in the desert, and Cam Johnson, who absolutely killed Minnesota with 29 points on a blistering 63% from 3.
DeAndre Ayton is also limping with an ankle injury.
I’ll recap in bullet points:
- Rudy Gobert is back
- Chris Paul is out
- Cameron Johnson is out
- DeAndre Ayton is nursing an ankle injury (against two All-NBA big men)
In short, tonight is the perfect night for the Wolves to bounce back from a laughable effort on Monday, where Tom Thibodeau waltzed in and out of Target Center against his former team.
Anthony Edwards on energy:— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) November 8, 2022
“I feel like we try to bring energy. We just play soft, man. Like, every bump, we flying all over the place, including myself. Teams just coming in like, ‘We’re going to take their heart,’ and that’s what’s going on. We’re down 20 every game."
Will the Wolves bounce back from getting challenged and NOT fall behind by 20-plus? There’s only on way to find out.
KAT Finding His Shot
Coming out of the gate struggling from the field, Towns got back on track Monday night and was good amid the lackadaisical play of the team as a whole. He shot 9-12, went for 25 points, and paired it with a double-double. He’s scored 25 in the last two games.
With Gobert back in the mix, it will be interesting to see the shot distribution with the full stable of mouths to feed back in the starting lineup. With Towns shooting 75% on Monday, it would have been great to see him shoot at least double the amount of times.
Ice Cold D-Lo (Not Ice in the Veins)
Russell has made a third of his three-point attempts, and a third of his field goal attempts in his last three games. He also has a 1.7 AST-TO ratio in that span, and is -15. Not great.
Worst 5-man lineups in the #NBA by Net PTS:— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) November 9, 2022
-33: Hayward, Oubre, Plumlee, Smith, Washington
-32: George, Jackson, Morris, Powell, Zubac
-31: DeRozan, Dosunmu, Green, LaVine, Vucevic
-30: Edwards, Gobert, McDaniels, Russell, Towns
-28: Brogdon, Brown, Horford, Smart, Tatum pic.twitter.com/VCoS8Ir69V
He won’t have Chris Paul hassling him, or the transition threat that Cam Johnson was in the previous meet-up. Does he spread it around, speed up the offense, shoot himself out of a slump, or is it much of the same?
All accounted for, I’ll bring three props up for the evening I like. Lines according to the DraftKings SportsBook.
POINTS: D’Angelo Russell O14.5 (-105)
I like the value here. You’re betting that D-Lo has an average night from the floor, because shot attempts and volume are never an issue. It’s also physically impossible to get much worse than it has been, and his odds of getting a few more open looks with no Chris Paul in the fold are better.
REBOUNDS: Devin Booker O4.5 (-115)
The odds aren’t bad, and he’s surpassed this in three of his last four games. The Wolves’ guards have been woeful boxing out this season and tend to ball watch. If it’s a fast game with the long rebound opportunities we’ve seen all year, I would bet Booker gets more than four of them.
THREES: Karl-Anthony Towns O2.5 (+120)
The line and odds are too good to be true, and roadblock would be the Suns throwing smalls at Towns left and right, forcing him to drive. But the reality is Towns surpassing this in three of his last four games, and he’s starting to get back on track from the field after a rough start to the season.