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Game Preview #79: Wolves at Rockets

Wolves look to keep their 6th seed dreams alive on Jarred Vanderbilt’s birthday, in his hometown no less.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Well. The Lakers failed to do their job as they were defeated in the 4th quarter by the Nuggets thus Minnesota remains 2.0 games back of the 6th seed. Thanks for nothing.


Game Info

Who: Houston Rockets (20-58; 15th) at Minnesota Timberwolves (44-34; 7th)
When: 6:00 pm CST
TV: Bally Sports North
Radio: 830 WCCO AM Radio


Injury Report


What To Watch

  • The Rockets boast (?) the worst record in the NBA, tied with a certain Florida team that constantly gives the Wolves fits. That said, the Wolves are 2-0 on the season against Houston with both wins by exactly 18 points each time. The home team has lost 3 in a row (Twice against a tanking Sacramento Kings!) heading into this one and have been sitting Christian Wood. One of my personal rookie favorites, Alperen Şengün, has also been out due to a leg injury, but gets the opportunity to shine today! I’m very much looking forward to seeing him in action, as he is averaging 13 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2 stocks on .484/.316/.767 splits in his last 7 games.
  • The number 2 pick of the 2021 NBA draft, Jalen Green, has certainly found his rhythm in the last third of the season. He has scored over 30 points in his last 3 games, including a career-high 33 against the Kings on Friday. Talking heads have compared his rookie season to that of Anthony Edwards. Speaking of the latter, he just carried the Wolves across the finish line in Friday’s contest against the Nuggets by going 5 of 5 in the 4th quarter (14 points). We may likely see these young guards duel with scoring explosions that can only be categorized as nuclear warfare. Here’s a flashback to the two of them playing in some casual 1-on-1 prior to the start of their NBA careers:

Predictions

  • We get another Pat Bev revenge game against the team gave him his first NBA opportunity. He absolutely terrorizes Kevin Porter Jr. into 8 turnovers and blesses the empty Toyota Center with a patented “1ST TEAM ALL-DEFENSE!” scream. The few thousand in attendance cheer along with him. (UPDATE: Pat Bev is OUT)
  • Freshly turned 23-year-old, Jarred Vanderbilt, shows out in his hometown of Houston. After notching both career-highs in points (21) and rebounds (19) the last time the Wolves played in Houston, I’m expecting him to one up that by going off for 23 & 23. The hot take? All his points on scored with jumpers!
  • Wolves 130, Rockets 106.