The Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves will do it all over again on Saturday night after a blown game for the visitors. The fourth quarter for the Rockets last night was like a closer entering in the ninth inning and failing to record an out. Minnesota made an impressive comeback in the final frame, out scoring the Rockets by a staggering margin of 31 to 10 points.
The Rockets closed the game out going 0-for-14 from the field, while the Timberwolves went on a 22-0 run to steal a 107-101 win at home. Blowing leads like that is what happens to bad teams. However, even for the Rockets, that’s a really ugly fourth quarter. With the loss, the Rockets slipped to 12-32 on the season. That was their 22nd loss in their previous 23 attempts. Ugly basketball, so blowing a big lead shouldn’t be a surprise for the Rockets.
The only team worse in the Western Conference standings is the team they collapsed against last night. Minnesota is going into tonight with a record of 11-34, though they’ve been able to stabilize somewhat over the last month. While the Rockets have absolutely face planted, the Timberwolves have some wins since then. Not only wins, but some good wins as well. The Timberwolves 4-6 in their previous ten outings, with wins over the Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Suns, and Rockets.
Beating the Pels, Blazers, and Suns is no easy task, but the Timberwolves were able to catch them on an off night. Their roster isn’t as terrible as their record indicates. Karl-Anthony Towns is a good player, albeit, he needs to work on his defense to become an elite contributor in this league. Ricky Rubio ended up sticking with the Timberwolves after rumors of him being dealt. He only scored 2 points last night, but made some pretty plays as a facilitator with 8 assists.
For the Timberwolves to become a respectable team, a guy like Jarred Vanderbilt has to start playing better basketball. The 21-year-old, who has shifted between the bench and starting lineup, has scored an average of 5.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this season. Jaden McDaniels has talent, but is extremely raw as a rookie and needs time to develop. Head below for our free Rockets vs. Timberwolves pick on March 27, 2021.
Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Betting Odds:
Rockets vs. Timberwolves Prediction:
If you haven’t watched much of the Houston Rockets this season, then going scoreless for over 5 minutes so close out a game might feel foreign. That’s especially true in the NBA in this current era which sees a lot of points being scored. The lowly Rockets were able to go 0-for-14 and build a house with all of the bricks they were putting together last night.
Struggling from the field isn’t anything new for the Rockets, though. That was a new low this year, but this offense has been incredibly inconsistent in everything they try to accomplish. Overall, the Rockets are 25th in the league with 106.7 points scored per game. They are 29th from the field at 43.4%, and 30th from three at 32.9%.
John Wall is playing like he doesn’t seem to care, and with the way this season is going, it’s hard to blame him for feeling plenty frustrated. Across the Rockets’ previous five outings, they recorded an average of only 105.4 points per game. Note that in four of their last six games, the Rockets didn’t score more than 101 points. That is not pretty basketball.
The Timberwolves have been inconsistent on offense in their own right. Like I’ve said, Karl-Anthony Towns doesn’t have much help to work with on this roster. Naz Reid and Juancho Hernangomez provided a big spark off the bench last night, and without those two, the Timberwolves don’t make a comeback in that game.
Minnesota is 22nd in the NBA with 109.3 points per game. They’re one of the worst from the field as well. The Timberwolves are shooting 44.2% from the field for 28th in the league. No offensive metric has the Timberwolves inside the top-20, including offensive rebounding where they’re 23rd. In their last five outings, they’ve netted 108.3 points a game. I can’t ignore the total at nearly 230 points with these two offenses on the court again. The UNDER has to be the play.