Game Preview and Prediction: San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves
The San Antonio Spurs, losers of two straight games, face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight in the Target Center. The Spurs (5-5) will try to avoid falling below .500, while the T-Wolves (6-4) look to win their second straight game and third in their previous four contests.
San Antonio Spurs Injury Report
The Spurs should once again have their full roster tonight against the Wolves. During the three-game homestand the Spurs just completed, Derrick White rode the exercise bike instead of sitting on the bench in order to keep his glute contusion from tightening up. We’ll see if that continues with the Spurs on the road for a pair of games.
Minnesota Timberwolves Injury Reporter
Jeff Teague, Minnesota’s starting point guard, is questionable to play due to an illness. He has missed their previous four games because of that illness. Reserves Jordan Bell and Shabazz Napier have also both missed the last four games for the Timberwolves with a shoulder injury and hamstring injury, respectively. Both are listed as doubtful for the game against the Spurs.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
San Antonio’s starting lineup is likely to remain the same with Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, DeMar DeRozan, Trey Lyles and LaMarcus Aldridge. This isn’t a back-to-back situation so Murray should be a go. In fact, it’s the time in the season for his minutes restriction to be reexamined. Lyles has done enough to remain a starter.
Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup
The Wolves will start Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Robert Covington and Treveon Graham. If Teague is unable to play, the Timberwolves will likely go with Josh Okogie or Jarrett Culver instead.
Spurs vs. Timberwolves – Key Matchup
This game could come down to who wins the matchup between LaMarcus Aldridge and Karl-Anthony Towns. In wins, Towns is averaging 28.2 points and 12.4 rebounds on 51.6% shooting from the floor and 50.0% shooting on three-pointers. In losses, those numbers drop to 21.0 points and 11.7 rebounds on 42.9% from the field and 30.0% on threes.
Aldridge’s splits are even more drastic. In wins, he’s averaging 25.0 points and 7.6 rebounds on 58.6% shooting from the field and 33.3% on threes. In losses, he’s averaging 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds, while shooting 38.0% from the field and 0.0% on threes.
For the Spurs to win this game, Aldridge at least needs to keep pace with Towns. If he’s handily outplayed, San Antonio will be doomed.
Prediction: Spurs vs. Timberwolves
Oddsmakers currently have the Wolves as a two-point favorite to win. Considering they have a better record, have been playing better recently and are at home, that’s fair. Oddsmakers see it as a 116-114 victory for Minnesota.
But if Aldridge plays well and the Spurs come out with an inspired effort, I think they can win a close one with a few clutch plays at the end.
San Antonio Spurs – 117
Minnesota Timberwolves – 116