Detroit Pistons vs Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Pick – December 23

The NBA season has begun again and is filled with another action packed night on Wednesday. Thirteen games will be up on the board throughout December 23. One of these matchups will be between the Detroit Pistons and the Minnesota Timberwolves. These two teams will look to earn a big win on Wednesday night to start out the season. This game will tip off at around 8:00 PM Eastern time.

The Pistons finished out last season with a record of 20-46, which had them sitting in thirteen place of the Eastern Conference. Detroit finished in one of the bottom places of the Eastern Conference and did not have much improvement in the offseason. The Pistons will look to find some magic early in the season, or their rebuild will have to continue.

Minnesota put up a record of 19-45 throughout last season, which helped put them in fourteenth place of the Western Conference. Like the Pistons, the Timberwolves were bottom feeders last season. Minnesota got the top pick and selected Anthony Edwards in this past draft. The Timberwolves will look for that to pay off as they look to bounce back this season.

These two teams are coming off seasons that saw them high in the odds for the top overall pick in this previous draft. The Timberwolves won the lottery and picked up Edwards, which they will look to finally push them into the postseason. Detroit got Killian Hayes in the draft and will look for him to help propel the rebuild this season. I expect a good one as these two teams look for a rare win.

Previous Matchups

The Pistons and the Timberwolves only met up once throughout last season. The game was on November 11 in Detroit. Luke Kennard dropped 25 points, while Blake Griffin had 19 points for the Pistons. Andrew Wiggins put up 33 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns dropped 25 points and 8 rebounds. The Timberwolves were able to earn a nice 120-114 win on the road.

Minnesota was able to earn a win in their only meeting last season, but the Pistons have won eight of their last nine games against the Timberwolves. Minnesota will look to repeat their success from last season with a win to open up the new campaign. Neither team has played since back in March of last season, which could lead to quite a bit of rust in this one.

These two teams both had rough finishes to the season, not even being invited to the qualifiers in August. I expect both teams to have heavily focus on getting back in the swing of things during training camp. I really like the chance of the duo of Towns and Russell to step up after this offseason, which could finally put Minnesota into the playoff race in the Western Conference.

Top Performers

Derrick Rose was the leader for this Detroit team throughout last season. Rose was averaging 18 points and 5.5 assists per game throughout his games played. Blake Griffin only played in 18 games, which he was able to average 15.5 points per game. The Pistons pretty much have no one else from last season. Detroit will look for rookies Killian Hayes and Saddiq Bey to step up to open this season.

Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell stepped up for the Timberwolves last season. Towns averaged 26.5 points and 11 rebounds per game throughout last season. Russell was averaging 21.5 points and 6.5 assists per game. Malik Beasley averaged 20.5 points per game as well for Minnesota. The Timberwolves added Anthony Edwards through the draft and Ricky Rubio in free agency to help out the team.

These two teams added solid rookies in the draft this season, which they will look to play key developing roles throughout this season. The Timberwolves are looking to dominate early in this one with the duo of Towns and Russell. D’Angelo Russell came late in the season and could play a huge role in this season. If Russell and Towns can build up great chemistry, it could finally help Minnesota break through in the West.

Field Goal Shooting Last Season

The Pistons were not good at shooting throughout last season. Detroit was able to make around 45.9 percent of their shots from the field, which was 18th in the NBA last season. The Pistons made 36.7 percent of their shots from deep, which was 11th in the league. Detroit only made 51.5 percent of their shots inside the arc, which was 23rd in the NBA.

Minnesota was even worse when it came to shooting last season. The Timberwolves only made 44.1 percent of their shots from the field last season, which was 28th in the league. Minnesota was also 28th in the NBA from deep with a shooting percentage of 33.6 percent. The Timberwolves made 52.1 percent of their shots in close, which was 19th in the league.

These two teams struggled heavily with shooting throughout last season, which led to their struggles. The Timberwolves were a bit better on defense throughout the season, but it still was not enough to impress. Detroit will look for Saddiq Bey to break through as a 3-and-D wing this season, while Minnesota will look for Rubio’s passing ability to open up the floor.

Pick Overview

These two teams are coming off very rough seasons last campaign, but have a fresh start to this season. With Towns and Russell having a full offseason together, I believe that the Timberwolves can make a leap in this season. Detroit still seems quite a ways away from competing in the East and I think Minnesota can start out this season with a big win over the Pistons on Wednesday night.

BetOnline has the Timberwolves listed as a -4 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a solid edge to Minnesota at home in this one. I agree with this line as the Timberwolves seemed ready for a better season. The Pistons offseason was a bit of a headscratcher and I think Minnesota will expose that on Wednesday night. I like the Timberwolves to start out this season with a big win over Detroit.

Minnesota Timberwolves -4.5
Andruw Burling / Author

Andruw Burling has been writing sports picks since 2017, covering mainly NHL and NBA content, but doing work in other sports as well. Andruw grew up in Las Vegas and has been around sports since a young age. He grew up a huge NHL and NBA fan and continues to use that knowledge in his content today.