Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – Game #9

The San Antonio Spurs will try to get back on the winning track on Friday night versus the Minnesota Timberwolves at home at the Frost Bank Center. The Spurs have lost three straight games. After losing to the Toronto Raptors in overtime in front of their home fans, San Antonio went on the road and got blown out twice: first by the Indiana Pacers and then by the New York Knicks (see the Grades).

Back in front of their home fans, the Spurs will hope to rediscover the formula that allowed the team to win three of their first five games. Specifically, their defense needs to return. In San Antonio’s three-game losing streak, the Spurs are allowing 133.7 points per game.

Victor Wembanyama has also struggled a bit during the losing skid. During that stretch, the rookie out of France has averaged 15.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks but has hit just 33.3% of his shots from the field and only 25% of his three-point attempts.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Devin Vassell missed two games due to a groin injury but he was able to return against the Knicks. Keldon Johnson has also been banged up recently with wrist soreness but he too was able to play in New York. 

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

We can confidently say head coach Gregg Popovich will start Victor Wembanyama at power forward, Zach Collins at center, Jeremy Sochan at point guard and Keldon Johnson at small forward. The starter at shooting guard isn’t as clear. Against the Knicks, Popovich started Malaki Branham at shooting guard and brought Devin Vassell, the team’s regular starter at that position, off the bench. That decision was made due to Vassell coming off of an injury.

Most likely, Vassell will start at shooting guard versus the Timberwolves — but it’s possible that Branham could again get the nod.

Anthony Edwards Takes a Big Leap for the Timberwolves

It’s now clear that Anthony Edwards is the No. 1 scoring option on the Timberwolves. While Minnesota has a lot of talented players, the 22-year-old has emerged as their most important piece. 

This season, Edwards is averaging 27.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists. He’s shooting 51% from the field, 43.2% from three-point range and 82.4% at the free throw line. No one else on the Timberwolves is averaging more than 18 points per game.

Betting Guide: Spurs vs. Timberwolves

The Timberwolves are favored by seven points and the over/under is at 225.5 points. This is another Spurs game in which betting the over is the smartest move. San Antonio’s defense has been poor lately and the Spurs should be able to put up points in front of their home fans. Add those two expectations together and it’s a safe bet that the two teams will combine for 226 or more points.