The Minnesota Timberwolves have just eight games left in the season, but there is no question that team is looking to end the campaign on a high-note. This season was supposed to be one in which the Timberwolves were competing for, at the very least, one of the four play-in seeds, but a variety of issues to their star players kept this team from their goal.
Last night was just the 15th game in which Minnesota had both Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell on the floor together, and the result was their ninth victory when those two play together. The sample size is limited, but the returns are extremely positive. When both Russell and Towns are on the floor together the Timberwolves average 119.3 points per 100 possessions, and 104.3 points every 100 plays in the halfcourt. This offense is downright great when these two play together, and bettors saw it last night when they dropped 1.25 points per possession on the Warriors.
Minnesota wants to build the continuity between its two stars. Head coach Chris Finch has used the second half of the season to implement his system, and this team has made it clear the objective is to build toward next season.
“I just think that we are playing good basketball,” said Karl-Anthony Towns in media availability last night. “We keep growing every single day, and that is all you can ask for. I think for us, you’re seeing we’re putting, brick by brick, something [special] together.”
It is rare in today’s NBA to see a team already eliminated from contention try to win games in waning weeks, but that is what the Timberwolves are doing. They are 5-1 ATS in their last six games, and I would expect that trend to continue over the final eight contests.
Updated odds for every game can be found here.
Updated injury reports for every game can be found here.
*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back.
The Main Event
Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns (-5, 225.5)
The first overall seed is on the line tonight in Phoenix, and the home team will have the slight edge over its opponent. Utah comes in after dismantling Sacramento 154-105 but they will be short-handed. Mike Conley is going to miss his second consecutive game with a hamstring injury and Donovan Mitchell is still sidelined. The Jazz are still a fantastic team without those two, outscoring opponents by 8.3 points every 100 possessions when they are off the floor, but how does that play out over the course of a whole game against a team like Phoenix?