When: 2:30pm CST
TV: Bally Sports North
Radio: 830 WCCO AM Radio
Line: Wolves -12
The saying goes, “It is hard to beat a team twice in a row”.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will be trying to do just that as they face off against the Detroit Pistons this afternoon after playing them on Thursday.
What To Watch For:
Even though the Pistons were the Wolves last opponent, the Wolves were not the Pistons last opponent. Detroit faced off against the Celtics on Friday night. This creates a rest-advantage for Minnesota tonight as they are at home and haven’t played since Thursday.
Although the Wolves got the win in Detroit a few days ago, they didn’t have it in the bag from the get go. They had to fight the entire first half to keep it close before pulling away in the 3rd and 4th. Still, the Pistons were resilient and wouldn’t go away, making the game close down the stretch.
Today’s game should be a different story. The Timberwolves hopefully won’t pick up 3 first half technicals and lose their composure like on Thursday.
Now, the Wolves are sitting 2 games over .500 at 27-25 and find themselves just a game behind the Nuggets for the 6th seed entering today. If you’re into a good day of scoreboard watching, today is a good one.
As always, I’ll be rooting for my 3 favorite teams today: Nets, Hawks, and Bucks! pic.twitter.com/bzcw6Extwz— Brendan Hedtke (@B_HedtkeNBA) February 6, 2022
What I am most interested in looking at in tonight’s game is if the Wolves are able to punish the Pistons on the interior. Detroit is a small team, yet out-rebounded the Wolves 45-42 last game. Minnesota should shore up the rebounding department tonight.
The biggest thing that the Wolves should focus on tonight, along with the rebounding, is their defense as a whole. The defensive rating has been slipping since the turn of the calendar as the offense has had a meteoric rise to top of the league. Tonight should be a time to make some hay on the defensive side as the Pistons are the second worst offensive team in the league and may be playing without rookie guard Cade Cunningham.
Casey said Cunningham is a game-time decision.— James Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) February 6, 2022
Cade Cunningham will be a game-time decision for today’s matchup.
Minnesota @Timberwolves Status Report in advance of tomorrow’s game vs Detroit:— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) February 5, 2022
Beverley - Right Ankle Sprain
Russell - Left Shin Contusion
Bolmaro - Left Ankle Sprain
Okogie - Right Quad Contusion
Wright IV - Left UCL Injury
Minnesota, who has been without their starting point guard D’Angelo Russell for the last four games do to a shin contusion, will be getting him back tonight. Russell is listed as probable, but Anthony Edwards sure seemed convinced D’Lo would suit up.
According to Anthony Edwards, it sure sounds like D'Angelo Russell will be back tomorrow.— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) February 5, 2022
"We ready for him to come back. Am I allowed to talk about his return?"
Finch said he was probably in.
"Hopefully he's back tomorrow (laughing). My boy be back tomorrow, man, we good?" https://t.co/mw4xZRkIa8
During his pre-game media availability, Coach Chris Finch confirmed that Russell will play and will not be under any sort of minute restriction. Finch noted that Russell wasn’t going to come back until he was able to play without a restriction.
Patrick Beverley, who played in the Wolves last game, is also listed as probable. Josh Okogie and Leandro Bolmaro are listed as questionable.
I would love to see Cunningham play tonight, and not just because I’ll have a front row seat today, but rather to see how the Wolves handle playing against a bigger initiator. Also, the Wolves need to keep being tested by healthy teams so we can gauge how good they are or aren’t heading into Thursday’s trade deadline.
I think Minnesota comes out blazing today and waxes the floor with Detroit. Double digit spreads are always risky (today is -12 for Minnesota), but I’m hitting the over on that one. Let’s Go Wolves.