The NBA is set for another exciting night of action on Monday night. Seven games are on the schedule for December 3. One of those games will be between the Houston Rockets and the Minnesota Timberwolves. These two teams have both had mediocre starts to the season, but will look to improve with a win on Monday night.
Houston has jumped out to an 11-11 start this season. The Rockets are sitting in eighth place of the Western Conference. Houston has won back to back games against the San Antonio Spurs and the Chicago Bulls. Before those two straight wins, Houston had lost four in a row. The Rockets started out the season really poorly, but they will look to keep moving up in the standings with a road win on Monday night.
Minnesota has gone 11-12 to start out the new season. The Timberwolves are right behind Houston in ninth place of the Western Conference. Minnesota is coming off a loss to the Boston Celtics, but were on a four-game winning streak before the loss. The Timberwolves will look to bounce back with a win to get back to an even record on Monday night.
Monday’s matchup between the Rockets and the Timberwolves will be the first game this season. These two teams will meet two more times on February 13 and March 17. Both teams are sitting right outside the playoff picture right now, which means that each team will be pretty desperate for a win.
Last Season’s Matchups
Houston and Minnesota met up four times in the regular season last season. The Rockets hosted the first matchup between these two teams. Jimmy Butler scored 23, while Karl-Anthony Towns dropped 22 points and 16 rebounds. Eric Gordan put up 30 off the bench. Clint Capela scored 20 points, which helped lead Houston to a 116-98 win.
The second game of the season moved to Minnesota. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 35 points and added another 12 rebounds, but it was not enough for the Timberwolves. James Harden had another 34 points and 13 assists. Ryan Anderson put up another 21 points off the bench to give Houston a 126-108 win.
Houston hosted the third game of the season series. Andrew Wiggins put up another 21 points for Minnesota, while Jeff Teague and Towns each put up another 18. Minnesota did not get much more help from their lineup. James Harden scored 31 points and Clint Capela put up 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to pull off a 120-102 win at home.
The final game of the season series finished in Minnesota. Once again, the Timberwolves put up a solid offensive performance, but it was not enough. Jeff Teague, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for 64 points. James Harden put up 34 points and 12 assists to lead Houston to a 129-120 win.
The Rockets were able to sweep the season series 4-0 this season. Houston and Minnesota met up in the first round of the playoffs. The Rockets went on to knock off the Timberwolves in a 4-1 series. Houston has won the last six games of this season series and they will look to build off that with a win on Monday night.
James Harden has been the best player for the Rockets so far this season. Harden is averaging 31 points and 9 assists per game to start this season. Clint Capela is putting up an average 18 points and 12 rebounds per game. Chris Paul is putting up 17 points and 8 assists per game. Eric Gordan has been the Rockets firepower off the bench, averaging 17 points per game.
The Timberwolves have been led by their star Center Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns have been averaging 21 points and 12 rebounds per game this season. Derrick Rose has had a surprisingly good season, averaging 19 points per game. Andrew Wiggins is averaging 19 points per game. Dario Saric and Robert Covington, who came over in the Jimmy Butler trade have been playing well in the lineup. Covington is averaging 15 points per game with 6 rebounds, while Saric is dropping about 10 points and 6 rebounds per game.
There are many intriguing matchups on Monday night. Clint Capela matching up against Karl-Anthony Towns will be a big matchup to watch. Towns is a really good player, but Capela plays really solid defense in the paint. On the outside, I believe the Timberwolves will have difficulty guarding Harden and Paul. Andrew Wiggins can play some solid defense, but he cannot guard both players. I believe either Harden or Paul will go off for a big night.
The Rockets are coming into this game after two dominant wins. Minnesota has had a solid winning streak until their last loss. I believe that the Timberwolves are set for a little bit of a losing streak. Houston has dominated Minnesota in recent history. The Rockets have a solid edge on the outside and I believe Capela can keep Towns from having a big night. Houston is riding a winning streak and I think they will continue it on Monday night.
BetOnline has Houston listed as a -2 against the spread. The Rockets have been better recently than when the season started, and I think it will continue for now. I do not believe the Timberwolves will be able to slow the Rockets down on the outside. I am taking the Rockets as underdogs on the road.