- Who: Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves (Series 3-0, Nuggets)
- When: 8:30 PM CT
- Where: Target Center (Minneapolis, MN)
- Local TV: Bally Sports North
- National TV: TNT
- Radio: WCCO (AM 830)
- Line: Wolves +4 | Total: 223.5 (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Jaden McDaniels (right hand fracture)
- Naz Reid (left scaphoid fracture)
Nothing to report
In the context of your home, the streets, or other places that get a lot of foot traffic, sweeping is considered a good thing. In the context of the 2022-23 Minnesota Timberwolves, it would be tragic.
If you said the team would be in this spot in July, it would be incredibly hard to wrap your head around.
But those that have stuck this season out see this game as a fitting component of the season. 48 minutes in which previous performances have left the Wolves with absolutely zero margin for error in a game where a loss would severely damage the group’s reputation.
Whether it was the regular season games against sub .500 teams that made others against elevated competition more important, game 82 against the New Orleans Pelicans that would determine seeding, or game 84 against the Oklahoma City Thunder where the Wolves would have the chance to punch their ticket to the current series, season-ending implications have been smattered all over this season. And the ultimate test awaits on Sunday night that either prolongs the series, or sends Minnesota packing for their offseason vacations.
And perhaps, a few members of the roster to new teams.
What to Watch For
“Game 4, first to four games bro. The series ain’t over. I promise you it ain’t over, everyones counting us out. It ain’t over.”
Anthony Edwards denied media availability after a valiant game three but was heard in the background of others interviews being uplifting to teammates. He’s had no other choice.
Hit and miss in the play-in games and game one, he’s been nothing short of incredible over the last two games.
Between games two and three, Edwards has put up 38.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.5 steals, and 2 blocks. He’s adding 53% from the field and 42% from three point range. He’s been simply incredible.
A similar performance from him on Sunday will be needed if the Wolves have any shot of prolonging their dance with Denver. What will be even more needed, however, will be for his supporting cast to simply show up to the arena.
Kyle Anderson had an uncharacteristic two point night on 1-7 shooting in game three. Karl-Anthony Towns has been subpar, and while his 27 points last game gave him some offensive rhythm, he was lost defensively and didn’t give Edwards adequate offensive help at the end of the game.
Rudy Gobert has been good (recently). Mike Conley has been fine. The bench has been putrid.
#Nuggets' bench has outscored the Wolves 74 to 55 in this series, with the first 2 games being essentially a draw (DEN -2 in G1, +2 in G2), and the big difference coming in a +19 Game 3.— Joel Rush (@JoelRushNBA) April 22, 2023
Hard to overstate how huge this is for Denver in light of their overall season bench woes. pic.twitter.com/oM3jcK1XML
Edwards needs reinforcements. Who shows up and plays a complete game?
If I had to bet a spread, I’m taking the Nuggets -4. The harsh reality is that the Wolves haven’t covered yet in this series, and there hasn’t been a lot to inspire confidence defensively that it could happen. The Nuggets are such a tough cover without Jaden McDaniels. With him? That’s more appealing, and the first three games would look quite a bit different if that was the case.
Anyway, below a are a few props for the game I like the odds of. All according to the DraftKings SportsBook.
POINTS: Kyle Anderson O8.5 (+105)
The value makes this attractive, and Anderson is one that I like to step up as part of the aforementioned reinforcements. The shot volume is there, and his ability to get out on the break and in pick and rolls allow him to bounce back from one of his worst offensive nights in a Timberwolves uniform.
REBOUNDS: Aaron Gordon O6.5 (-105)
Gordon has hit this over in his last two games. It depends on who gets in foul trouble when, but his lack of being able to shoot the ball has brought him further in towards the paint this series.
THREES: Kyle Anderson O0.5 (+110)
All it takes is one corner open look for an incredibly efficient shooter. It’s just one, and it’s plus odds...