Minnesota Timberwolves at Magic: Odds, injuries and what to watch for

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 26: D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on against the Miami Heat. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 26: D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on against the Miami Heat. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves will look to build a modest winning streak as they take on the Magic in Orlando on Friday evening.

On the heels of an impressive win on Wednesday in South Beach, the Minnesota Timberwolves head a couple of hours north to face the Orlando Magic.

The Magic have won four of their last five games, although each of their wins have come against teams under the .500 mark. Orlando has just a 26-32 record themselves despite currently sitting in the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference.

Minnesota will look to build on their late comeback over the Miami Heat on Wednesday, when they trailed by 12 points with under four minutes to play but locked down on defense and got just enough offense to pull it out.

The Magic present a different challenge, as they’re more of a defensive-minded team. Similar to the Heat, however, they’ll want to slow the game down. The challenge for the Wolves will be to do their best to dictate the pace of the game.

Timberwolves odds against the Magic

Tickets, TV and streaming info for Timberwolves at Magic

What to watch for in Wolves at Magic

The Timberwolves and Magic are on near-opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of 3-point attempts per game, with the Wolves ranking third in the league at 39.9 per contest and the Magic are 20th at 31.8 a night.

Neither team is shooting it with much success on the season, however, with Orlando at 33.7 percent on the year and the Wolves at 33.4 percent — both near the bottom of the league rankings.

But Minnesota has gotten better from deep of late, replacing minutes from reluctant shooters like Jeff Teague and non-shooters like Keita Bates-Diop and Treveon Graham with willing and capable shooters such as Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez and D’Angelo Russell.

The Magic play slowly, ranking No. 28 in pace. They’re also a solid defensive team and much better at rebounding the ball than the Wolves, sitting at No. 8 league-wide in defensive rating and No. 7 in defensive rebounding percentage at 78.6 percent. By contrast, the Wolves are No. 17 in defensive rebounding percentage.

Minnesota will need to try and speed this game up as they did against the Heat. They were largely successful in doing that in Miami, and here’s hoping they’re able to do it again.

Injury Report

The Wolves are still without Karl-Anthony Towns (wrist) and Allen Crabbe (personal).

The Magic have been without Jonathan Isaac (knee sprain) and Al-Farouq Aminu (torn meniscus) for several weeks but are otherwise healthy.

We’ll be back after the game with player grades. Hopefully, we’ll be celebrating a nice little two-game winning streak.

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Enjoy the start of your weekend!