The NBA is set up with another action packed Friday night. Eight games are up on the board throughout January 15. One of these games will be between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves. These two teams are coming off poor starts and will look to earn a much needed win in this one. This game will tip off at around 8:00 PM Eastern time.
The Grizzlies have earned a record of 5-6 throughout this season so far, which has them sitting in ninth place of the Western Conference. Memphis has won three in a row coming into this one and will look to keep it going. The Grizzlies are coming off a win against this Minnesota team and will look to sweep the back to back road series with them.
Minnesota has posted a record of 3-8 so far this season, which has put them in fifteenth place of the Western Conference. The Timberwolves are coming off a loss in their last one and have lost eight of their last nine games. Minnesota needs to find a way to turn the ship around before it is too late and it is another disappointing season.
These two teams are both sitting outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference. The Timberwolves have struggled heavily to this point in the season, but still have time to turn it around. Memphis has been solid in their last three games, despite being without multiple key players. The Grizzlies will look to keep that streak up with a win in this one.
The Timberwolves and the Grizzlies met up three times throughout last season. The first game was in Memphis on November 6. Andrew Wiggins dropped 30 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 13 rebounds. It was not enough though. Dillon Brooks put up 31 points and Ja Morant finished with 26 points. The Grizzlies rode a strong offensive performance to a 137-121 win.
The second game of the season series shifted to Minnesota on December 1. Karl-Anthony Towns put up 21 points and 12 rebounds. Andrew Wiggins added 18, but the Timberwolves still came up short. Dillon Brooks finished with 26 points, while Grayson Allen put up 13 points off the bench. The Grizzlies were able to pull away with a 115-107 win on the road.
Memphis hosted the third game of the season series on January 7. Jarrett Culver finished with 24 points, while Jeff Teague had 18 off the bench. Dillon Brooks dropped 28 points and Ja Morant added another 25 points. Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 21 points to help the Grizzlies sweep the season series with a 119-112 win at home.
The first game of this season’s series was on January 13 in Minnesota. Malik Beasley scored 28 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell both had 25 points. It still was not enough for the Timberwolves though. Jonas Valanciunas put up 24 points and 16 rebounds. and Grayson Allen scored 20 off the bench. Brandon Clarke added 19 points as the Grizzlies won 118-107 in this one.
Dillon Brooks has been the leader for this team since Ja Morant went down with injury. Brooks is averaging 16.5 points per game. Jonas Valanciunas has averaged 15 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Brandon Clarke and Kyle Anderson are both averaging 13 points per game to help round out this depleted Grizzlies lineup.
Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley have been leading this Minnesota team early in the season. Towns has averaged 22 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Russell is averaging 20.5 points per game, while Beasley has averaged 20 points per game. Anthony Edwards is averaging 12.5 points per game off the bench. Naz Reid has averaged 11 points per game as well.
These two teams have been led by a few top players early in this season. The Timberwolves have three players averaging over 20 points per game this season, but still have not been able to earn the wins. Minnesota needs to step up on defense if they want to start winning these games. Memphis is real depleted up and down their roster and the Timberwolves need to quiet their bench down if they want to pull off the win.
Field Goal Shooting
The Grizzlies have not shot well from the field so far this season. Memphis has been able to make around 45 percent of their shots from the field, which is 19th in the league. The Grizzlies have also made 33.1 percent of their shots from deep, which is 26th in the NBA. Memphis has shot 50.9 percent from inside the arc, which is 19th in the league.
Minnesota has not been any better shooting the ball throughout this season. The Timberwolves have been able to shoot 44.4 percent from the field, which is 22nd in the NBA. Minnesota has been able to make around 32.8 percent of their shots behind the arc, which is 28th in the league. The Timberwolves are shooting 51.4 percent in close, which is 17th in the NBA.
Memphis has been the better shooting team overall this season, but if Minnesota can set this pace inside the arc, it could give them an edge. Neither team has shot well from deep this season, but I think that the Timberwolves have an edge in the paint. Minnesota needs to come out hot again in this one, but they cannot take their foot off the gas like they did on Wednesday night.
These teams are both coming off a game on Wednesday night, where the Timberwolves blew a solid lead late. The Grizzlies will try to carry that momentum over into this one, while Minnesota will look to bounce back. If the Timberwolves can keep up a good pace in this one, I think they can outlast a depleted Memphis squad on Friday night.
BetOnline has Minnesota listed as a -3 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a slight edge to the Timberwolves to bounce back in this one. The Grizzlies are still without Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant. I do not think Memphis will have another big night from their bench like Wednesday night. I think that Minnesota can bounce back and earn a win in this one.