The Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves will dance for the third time this season, as they face each other Wednesday to kick off their respective schedules this month. Read on for more about this Nuggets-Timberwolves matchup.
Catch this game live on Wednesday, February 2, at 9 AM, Manila time
Away: Denver Nuggets (28-21/15-12)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Monte Morris
- SG: Will Barton
- SF: Aaron Gordon
- PF: Jeff Green
- C: Nikola Jokic (questionable)
The Nuggets are on a roll. They have just gone 4-0 in their last four games away from Mile High City and are 5-0 in their last five games overall, with wins against title contenders in the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks. Denver’s 136-100 road win against the Bucks last Monday was the Nuggets sending a strong message to the rest of the league, with Nikola Jokic double-doubled showing the way with 18 points and 15 assists.
However, the Serbian big man is questionable to play this Wednesday against the Timberwolves because of a right toe soreness. Even backup center DeMarcus Cousins is also questionable with a right foot sprain. If both players get ruled out for the Minnesota game, the Nuggets will be forced to go small, with Jeff Green, Zeke Nnaji, and JaMychal Green all getting extra reps. Such a situation should also put a heavier load on the Nuggets’ bench that has been one of the most efficient on offense this season. The Nuggets, who are 23-4-1 against the spread in their last 28 games in Minnesota, are getting 55.9 points per 100 possessions from their bench – second-most in the NBA.
Home: Minnesota Timberwolves (25-25/14-10)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: D’Angelo Russell (questionable)
- SG: Patrick Beverley (questionable)
- SF: Anthony Edwards
- PF: Jarred Vanderbilt
- C: Karl-Anthony Towns
The Timberwolves snapped a two-game skid by beating the Utah Jazz at home last Monday, 126-106. Karl-Anthony Towns had his way against the Jazz’s Rudy Gobert-less defense, as Minnesota’s own unicorn finished with a triple-double of 31 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in 34 minutes. The potential of KAT to explode again this Wednesday is there, with or without Jokic in front of him. Towns muscled his way to a 32-point performance in the Timberwolves’ 124-107 road win against Denver back in December. Anthony Edwards also erupted for 38 points in that game, hitting 10 of the Timberwolves’ 23 makes from deep.
In the initial meeting with the Nuggets, Towns scored 14 points to go with eight rebounds, albeit in a 93-91 home loss in November. Both games featured Jokic on the Nuggets’ lineup. Meanwhile, Denver could be without D’Angelo Russell again. The guard has missed the last two games with a left shin issue, which has led to expanded roles for Jaden McDaniels and Malik Beasley. Speaking of McDaniels, he could be the x-factor for the T’wolves against Denver, as he is coming off a 22-point showing in the win against the Jazz. Minnesota is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games at home.
Spread: There are some crucial moving parts in this game with regards to the statuses of key players. But with or without Jokic, the Nuggets’ spread as an underdog (+3) is a fair play against the Timberwolves, who might be a bit overrated after winning against a banged-up Jazz team.
Over/Under: This game could be faster without Jokic helping the Nuggets play their usually conservative pace. Taking the Over (231.5).