The NBA is set up with a great day of basketball throughout February 21. Eight games are up on the board throughout Sunday. One of these games will be between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New York Knicks. These two teams have not had the best starts to the season, but will look for a big win in this one. This game will tip off at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
The Timberwolves have put up a record of 7-23 throughout this season, which has them in last place of the Western Conference and the NBA. Minnesota has lost three games in a row entering this one and will look to turn it around with a win. The Timberwolves have not gotten much going throughout this season, but could still salvage the season if they get going now.
New York has posted a record of 14-16 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in seventh place of the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are half a game back from the sixth seed in the East. New York is coming off a loss in their last game, which ended a three game winning streak. The Knicks will look to get the win in this one to get back on track.
These two teams have put up below .500 records to open up the season, but New York is sitting in a playoff spot as of now. The Timberwolves have been sitting at the bottom of the league, but still can turn it around if they go on a streak now. I expect Minnesota to try and come out quickly in this one as they look for a win against the Knicks.
The Timberwolves and the Knicks have not met up since the 2018-19 season. Derrick Rose dropped 20 points off the bench in the first game of that season series as Minnesota was able to grab a 115-104 win on the night. Taj Gibson had 25 points for the Timberwolves in the second game of the season series as Minnesota swept the two games with a 103-92 win.
Minnesota’s last game was against the Toronto Raptors on February 19. Karl-Anthony Towns dropped 19 points and 13 rebounds on the night. Malik Beasley added 13 points, but it was not enough. Norman Powell had 31 points for Toronto, while Fred VanVleet scored 12 points. The Raptors were able to ride a strong defensive performance to an 86-81 win.
The Knicks had a meeting with the Orlando Magic on February 17. Julius Randle finished with 25 points on the night. R.J. Barrett added 15 points, but New York could not grab the win. Terrence Ross finished with 30 points off the bench. Nikola Vucevic put up 16 points and 16 rebounds to help lead the Magic to a nice 107-89 win on the night.
The Timberwolves have won four straight games against New York entering this one, but these two teams have not met up in two seasons. New York is coming off an extra couple days of rest after playing on Wednesday. The Knick will look to use that to their advantage as they face off against Minnesota on Sunday night.
Field Goal Shooting
Minnesota has not been doing great shooting the ball this season. The Timberwolves have been able to make around 43.9 percent of their shots from the field, which is 28th in the NBA. Minnesota has also shot 35.3 percent from deep, which is 23rd in the league. The Timberwolves have been able to sink 75.1 percent of their shots from the charity stripe, which is 23rd in the NBA.
The Knicks have not been much better shooting from the field this season. New York has made 45 percent of their shots from the field, which is 22nd in the league. The Knicks are also shooting 35.7 percent of their shots from behind the arc, which is 20th in the NBA. New York has drained 76.6 percent of their shots from the free throw line, which is 20th in the league.
These two teams have been struggling a bit shooting the ball this season. New York has been better on the defensive end though. The Knicks have held their opponents to a 43.1 percent shooting percentage, which is 1st in the NBA. The Timberwolves have allowed opposing teams to make 47.3 percent of their shots from the field, which is 22nd in the league. New York will look to take over on defense.
Karl-Anthony Towns and Malik Beasley have helped lead this Timberwolves team this season. Towns is averaging 21.5 points and 11 rebounds per game. Beasley has averaged 20.5 points per game. Anthony Edwards is averaging 14.5 points per game as a rookie. Naz Reid rounds out the lineup, averaging 12 points per game.
Julius Randle has led this New York team so far this season. Randle has averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds per game. R.J. Barrett is averaging 16.5 points per game, while Immanuel Quickley has averaged 12.5 points per game. Elfrid Payton is averaging 12 points per game and Derrick Rose has averaged 11 points off the bench. Alec Burks is averaging 11 points as well this season.
These two teams have been led by big men to this point in the season. Randle has been slightly better, but will go toe to toe with Towns in this one. The Knicks have played great defense and will look to slow down Beasley and Towns in this one. If New York’s depth can continue to step up, they should be able to outlast the Timberwolves in this one.
The Knicks are coming into this one losing four straight games to Minnesota. I think New York can turn it around in this one though with a win. The Knicks have had a few extra days off coming into Sunday’s tilt, which they will look to use to their advantage. If New York can come out hot in this one, they should be able to keep the Timberwolves tough season going.
BetOnline has the Knicks listed as a -2 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a slight edge to New York at home on Sunday. I agree with this line, but I think it could be bigger. The Knicks have been a much better defense this season and without D’Angelo Russell, the Timberwolves could be in trouble. As slight favorites in this one, I really like the value on New York.