If the playoffs start tonight, the duel between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Portland Trail Blazers would be one of the first round duels. The Timberwolves are in fourth place, while the Blazers are currently in fifth place. Of course, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the 108-107 victory in the first duel in mid-December, was so close that it would only be possible to deduce a role as a favorite.
Our first look at the team from Minnesota, which is currently in very good shape. Of the last 14 games they won eleven and that series began with the said 108-107 success over the Blazers. A grateful program certainly helped with the many successes, but in recent games, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Oklahoma City Thunder have also been defeated, proving that the Wolves are in a good mood.
There was a scene in the last game against the Knicks, which is a good indication of the current situation in Minnesota. Within the last two minutes before the end, Minnesota already led with twelve points ahead before they had a ball loss. Porzingis hurried for a free dunking, but Jimmy Butler followed and could prevent a dunk in the last second. The situation would not have required such a hustle, but Butler’s defensive mentality reflects his coach’s attitude and was a great example of the required defensive mission.
So it is not surprising that the Wolves are currently in fourth place and with 28 wins and 16 low algae only half a game behind the San Antonio Spurs have. Success in today’s game puts pressure on San Antonio and could even put Minnesota in third place. Of course, newcomers Butler, as well as Towns and Wiggins, who, thanks to Butler, seem to be getting along better and better with the system of Coach Thibodeau, remain guaranteed success.
With today’s opponent from Portland, things are not going so well. They lost their last two games, but still came up with five successes in the last nine games. While the defeat in the penultimate game against the Rockets was still quite understandable, the 113-119 defeat in the last game against the New Orleans Pelicans was certainly a little annoying, had hoped to settle with a success even more.
But the situation in Portland is not that easy this season. Out of 16 players, only two could play all matches this season. These are Pat Connaughton and Ed Davis, high achievers like Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic or even Al Farouq-Aminu missed a few games from time to time and even Evan Turner, who had all the games until the last game, had to suspend. The failures are of course at the expense of the rhythm and so it is not surprising that they could make Blazers so far no major jumps.
Nevertheless, they must of course be careful, because the situation in the Western Conference is very close. With 22 wins and 20 defeats they are currently ranked 5, but the ninth standing Clippers have just one and a half games behind and a record of 20 wins and 21 defeats. Portland could use the win today, but overall it has only the role of the underdog.
After all, both of my teams today should have the luck to be able to go into this game without being injured.
Player to watch: Karl Anthony Towns
Jimmy Butler’s performance increases compared to the start of the season bring him all the laurels, but 22-year-old Karl-Anthony Towns also convinces this season. With 20.2 points, 12 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, he delivers more than just solid values and his eight double doubles in recent games prove his consistency. Accordingly, you can count on him today with a good performance and so that he can tell another Double Double.
Prediction Today:Minnesota Timberwolves