The NBA will end the week with an exciting night of basketball. There is a total of ten games on the board for Friday night. One of these games will be between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio has picked up there play recently, while the Timberwolves have hit a rough patch.
Minnesota has earned a record of 14-17 to this point in the season. The Timberwolves are sitting in fourteenth place of the Western Conference. Minnesota lost their last game against the Detroit Pistons and have lost five of their last six. The Timberwolves could really use a big win on the road to help them get back on track.
The Spurs had a slow start to the season, but have picked up the pace to get back into the playoff picture. San Antonio is 17-15, which has them sitting in eighth place of the Western Conference. The Spurs have won two games in a row and six of their last seven. San Antonio seems to be picking up the pace and I believe it could translate into Friday night’s matchup.
Friday night’s game will be the third matchup between the Timberwolves and the Spurs this season. Minnesota and San Antonio will play one more time on January 18. These teams have seen plenty of each other in the early stages of the season, which means that they know how each team likes to play.
The first meeting of the season between these two teams was hosted by San Antonio on October 17. It was the first game of the season for both teams. Jeff Teague had a solid game, dropping 27 points. Jimmy Butler had 23 points, while Andrew Wiggins added another 20. DeMar DeRozan had a big game for the Spurs, scoring 28 points. LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 19 rebounds. San Antonio ended with a 112-108 win at home.
Minnesota hosted the second game of the season series on November 28. Jakob Poeltl had 14 points and 8 rebounds for the Spurs. San Antonio’s starting lineup combined for only 35 points, which led to a rough night. Robert Covington had a 21 point night for the Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns and Derrick Rose each had 16 points in Minnesota’s win. The Timberwolves were able to win 128-89.
Each team has been able to win at home this season. In both the Timberwolves and the Spurs wins, the whole team was able to share the scoring load to help get the win. I believe that this means it will take solid ball movement to get the win on Friday night. San Antonio has been moving the ball really well recently and I think it could help translate into a win on Friday night.
Three Point Shooting
The Timberwolves have been doing a solid job at the three-point line this season. Minnesota has been making 35.8 percent of their three-point shots attempted. This is good enough to earn the Timberwolves the ninth best three-point shooting percentage in the league this season. Minnesota will need to look for open opportunities again on Friday night to capitalize.
San Antonio has been doing even better than the Timberwolves from behind the three-point line. The Spurs have been shooting three-pointers with a success rate of 39.6 percent. San Antonio has the best three-point percentage in the NBA this season, but they have the second to last number of three-pointers attempted per game. The Spurs do not take a lot of three-pointers, but they make the ones they take count.
Three-point shooting plays a big role in most NBA games and it will be no different on Friday night. Both of these teams do not take a lot of three-pointers, but they have a solid percentage. This goes back to the idea of good ball movement. San Antonio’s system has promoted ball movement for years and it has led to a lot of success.
Minnesota has been led by their star Center this season. Karl-Anthony Towns has been averaging 21.3 points and 12 rebounds per game to this point in the season. Derrick Rose has had a solid revival season. Rose has averaged 19 points per game this season. Andrew Wiggins has averaged 16.3 points per game. Since coming over in the Jimmy Butler trade, Robert Covington has averaged 14 points per game.
DeMar DeRozan has fit in nicely with San Antonio’s roster since coming over in a trade from the Toronto Raptors in the offseason. DeRozan has averaged 23.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6 assists per game this season. LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 19 points and 9.5 rebounds per game this season. Rudy Gay has averaged 14.3 points and 7 rebounds per game this season.
Towns will likely match up with Aldridge in the paint quite a bit on Friday night, which should be a good matchup. DeRozan will look to take advantage at the Shooting Guard spot against Covington. I believe the Timberwolves will need to get a good balance of scoring to beat the Spurs stars at home on Friday night.
San Antonio and Minnesota come into Friday night’s matchup trending in opposite directions. I believe that the Spurs stars will keep the strong play rolling at home. San Antonio’s system should be able to give them the advantage on Friday night. Minnesota has been struggling and I am not sure that they will be able to turn it around on the road against the Spurs.
BetOnline has San Antonio listed as a -3 ½ against the spread. The Spurs should be bigger favorites in my opinion. San Antonio has home court advantage and the better team in my opinion. The Spurs are looking to keep their winning streak going and I believe they do just that. I am taking San Antonio against the spread.