It’s a heck of a regular season finale for these two as it is filled with postseason implications. With the season series tied at one apiece, a win would move the Minnesota Timberwolves into the eighth seed. If, however, the New Orleans Pelicans scrap out a road victory, they can possibly jump into sixth place out West.
Catch the game tomorrow at 3:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Minnesota Timberwolves (41-40, 21-19 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- Mike Conley
- Anthony Edwards
- Jaden McDaniels
- Kyle Anderson
- Rudy Gobert
The Timberwolves will be on the second day of a back-to-back, but fortunately, they coming off some light work. They lit up the San Antonio Spurs, 151-131, and no starter played more than 29 minutes. We can even argue that it gave them rhythm and confidence for the finale.
As per usual, All-Star Anthony Edwards will be among the premier weapons. He had a game-high 33 points against the Spurs and is averaging 32.0 points per game in the season series vs. the Pelicans. The star big man, meanwhile, Karl-Anthony Towns, will be facing the Pels for the first time this season. He will be in his seventh game back and is posting 19.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest since his return. Double-double machine and shot-blocking extraordinaire Rudy Gobert is there to aid the star duo.
Minny also has plenty of reliable role players – veteran facilitator Mike Conley, Kyle Anderson, and Jaden McDaniels. All are capable of contributing in a variety of ways.
The T-Wolves are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games playing on zero days rest. They scored 114.5 PPG in the two previous meetings with the Pels.
AWAY: New Orleans Pelicans (42-39, 15-25 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- CJ McCollum
- Trey Murphy III
- Brandon Ingram
- Herb Jones
- Jonas Valanciunas
The visiting Pelicans are flying high heading into the regular season finale and the play-ins. They have gone 9-2 in their last 11 games (8-2-1 ATS), boasting 118.0 PPG with an impressive +12 net rating in that stretch.
There’s plenty of firepower on their side, with Brandon Ingram (28 PPG in his last 10) and CJ McCollum (20.9 PPG) as the reliable 20-plus per game scorers, not to mention the latter’s ability to facilitate others. Rising second year swingman Trey Murphy III is also there, who’s coming off back-to-back 30-point games. The other defensive stopper, Herb Jones, is on fire this week as well, courtesy of his 35-point explosion vs. the Memphis Grizzlies and then going a perfect 7-for-7 against the New York Knicks. Jonas Valanciunas on the other hand, is in a battle of seven-footers opposite Gobert.
Handicap: The Timberwolves (-1.5) win and cover the spread.