Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves – Game #9
The San Antonio Spurs, who have won the first two games of their current five-game road trip, play the first of two consecutive contests against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night. The road trip began in Los Angeles, where San Antonio recorded impressive victories over the Clippers and Lakers.
The Spurs are one of four teams in the Western Conference that currently have a record of 4-4, joining the Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder. The T’Wolves are 2-6, which is the worst record in the West. They have a point differential of -13.1 points, which is the worst mark in the entire NBA.
If the Spurs want to continue to feel good about themselves, they will need to win at least one of these two games in Minnesota. The second game will be played Sunday night.
San Antonio Spurs Injury Update
Drew Eubanks missed the game against the Lakers due to what the team is calling health and safety protocols. Head coach Gregg Popovich indicated after the game that Eubanks would take a COVID-19 test. Results of the test haven’t been made public but Eubanks will miss at least the first game against the Timberwolves.
Also missing the game for the Spurs will be Derrick White and Quinndary Weatherspoon. White fractured the same toe that required offseason surgery and is sidelined for an indefinite period of time. Weatherspoon had offseason knee surgery and has yet to be cleared to play.
Minnesota Timberwolves Injury Update
The big injury-related news for the Timberwolves involves the possible return of star center Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns hasn’t played since the day after Christmas due to a wrist injury. For tonight’s game against the Spurs, the 25-year-old is listed as questionable. Minnesota says he is a game-time decision.
Towns’ importance to the T’Wolves can’t be overstated. In the two games he played, his team won. In the six games he has missed, Minnesota has lost each game — and lost by an average of 20 points.
Spurs at Timberwolves: How the Spurs Can Win
If Towns doesn’t play, the Spurs need to avoid a letdown. They already had a letdown earlier in the season when they were blown out by the Utah Jazz after playing the Lakers tight two games in a row.
If Towns does play, defending him will be the key. LaMarcus Aldridge will need to be willing to guard out on the perimeter and Jakob Poeltl will also need a strong outing to help contain Minnesota’s best player.