Washington Wizards at Minnesota Timberwolves
|Date & Time||Friday November 15, 2019, 8:00 PM (EST)|
Minnesota -7; Total 238
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One of the NBA’s best offenses will face one of the league’s worst defenses on Friday night when the Minnesota Timberwolves (7-4) host the Washington Wizards (2-7) at Target Center. The potential for scoring will be high -- at least for Minnesota -- as the Timberwolves score 117.2 points per game, good enough for fourth in the NBA, while Washington is 27th in defensive scoring allowing 120.0 points per game.
If that’s not enough for the Wizards, their defense is seemingly getting worse as the season progresses. Allowing 120.0 points per game is bad enough, but Washington is 1-6 in its last seven games and is allowing 126.7 points per game in that stretch and 131.3 points per game in those six losses. The only win in that stretch was against a Detroit Pistons team playing without Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, and Reggie Jackson.
Washington’s latest loss came against the Boston Celtics, which holds the NBA’s best record at 9-1. The 140-133 loss marked the second-most points that the Wizards have allowed all season, and it ruined a brilliant performance from Bradley Beal who scored 44 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Beal has actually been brilliant all season long, ranking sixth in the league averaging 28.1 points per game to go along 6.4 assists.
Five other Wizards also average in double figures with Thomas Bryant leading the way with 14.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Rui Hachimura, Isaiah Thomas, Davis Bertrans, and Moritz Wagner all average between 10.9 and 14.4 points per game.
The Timberwolves have been much better and have made the already crowded Western Conference even more crowded. Minnesota’s surge into the top eight in the conference has pushed teams like San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Portland, and more to bump into the non-playoff spots. Of course, this is incredibly early to be talking playoffs, but Minnesota’s start to the season has put it among the elite of the stronger conference in the NBA.
The Timberwolves have won three of their last four with the only loss coming in an overtime loss to Denver, and they have wins over Golden State, Detroit, and San Antonio in that stretch. In the big 129-114 win over the Spurs on Wednesday, Andrew Wiggins continued his incredible season with 30 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, while teammate Karl-Anthony Towns added 28 points and 11 rebounds. That pair currently rank 11th and 13th in the NBA with 25.9 and 25.8 points per game respectively. Jeff Teague adds 13.9 points per game for the Timberwolves.
Minnesota is the hot team of late and the Wizards have been on the skids, but if the goal was to pick this game heads up, winning money would be easy. Consider this: Of Minnesota’s last six games, it has only defeated its opponent by more than seven points once. In addition, the Timberwolves have only won by more than seven points three times all year. In contrast, Washington has stayed within seven points of its opponents six times this season and is 3-1-1 against the spread as a road underdog. Expect Minnesota to win, but look for Beal to keep it close enough to cover.