The Minnesota Timberwolves have a chance to continue their recent stretch of improved play as they host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will almost certainly remain significantly shorthanded as they host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday at Target Center.
But if they play as hard as they did on Wednesday in a two-point loss to the now-31-5 Milwaukee Bucks, then they'll win this game with relative ease.
After missing the past eight games and being listed as 'out' heading into the game in Milwaukee, Towns is now one of four Wolves players listed as questionable on Thursday.
D'Angelo Russell didn't play in Golden State's overtime loss in San Antonio on Tuesday, and it's unclear whether or not he'll be available against the Wolves. Clearly, the outcome of this game will hinge largely on the availability of each team's All-Star, plus the host of other Wolves players who remain in limbo.
The Wolves played poorly in last week's loss at Chase Center in San Francisco but still were within striking distance early in the fourth quarter due to strong minutes from several young players. Many of those same players had solid showings in Milwaukee on Wednesday, and Ryan Saunders opted to go with a lineup of all rookies and second-year man Keita Bates-Diop late in the game against the Bucks with mostly positive results.
Timberwolves odds against the Warriors
- Favorite: Timberwolves (-3.5)
- Over/under: 213.5
- Moneyline: -143 Minnesota/+145 Golden State
- Odds courtesy of The Action Network. Displayed odds current as of Thursday at 2:30 p.m. CT.
Tickets, TV and streaming info for Timberwolves vs. Warriors
- Television: Fox Sports North
- Radio: 830 WCCO
- Stream: Fubo.tv offers streaming options
- Tickets: StubHub offers ticketing options
What to watch for in Wolves vs. Warriors
Once again, it's a question of how effectively Minnesota is able to slow down the opposing team's guards.
In Wednesday's loss to the Bucks, nobody except Giannis hurt the Wolves. Russell has gone off in each of his two cracks at the Timberwolves this year, and even Alec Burks got into the act last time around with 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
Being shorthanded and on the second-half of a back-to-back is hardly ideal, but it if the Wolves defend the perimeter well enough (they've been much better over the past two-plus weeks) and rebound, they should win this game.
Look for Shabazz Napier to have another big game in this one as he's been given the green light in a suddenly firepower-less Wolves offense.
The Wolves have a whopping seven players listed on the injury report, but only one (Jake Layman) is officially out.
Jeff Teague is doubtful with a knee injury. Towns (knee), Andrew Wiggins (flu-like symptoms), Treveon Graham (flu-like symptoms), and Noah Vonleh (glut) are all listed as questionable. Josh Okogie is probable with right elbow bursitis.
Outside of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors had Kevon Looney (abdomen), Willie Cauley-Stein (illness) and Russell (shoulder) all miss their loss in San Antonio on Tuesday. It's unclear how many of them will be able to return to face the Wolves.
We'll be back after the game with player grades. Enjoy!