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

Malik Beasley is back with the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Malik Beasley is back with the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves look to win their third consecutive game as they play host to the Orlando Magic on Friday night at Target Center.

It was only a week ago that the Minnesota Timberwolves were riding high after an impressive comeback road victory over the Miami Heat. Taking on the Orlando Magic, it certainly felt as though the Wolves had a good shot at building a modest winning streak.

Alas, the defense utterly collapsed, allowing the Magic to put a season-best 136 points up on the scoreboard in an 11-point loss. Than, a home debacle against Dallas on Sunday that saw the Wolves score just 91 points.

But since then, Minnesota has scored wins against the New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls. They’ve been home since Wednesday’s game as part of their first multi-game homestand in nearly a month.

Hosting the 27-35 Magic, who have lost three straight since beating the Wolves last Friday, would seem to line-up nicely for the Timberwolves to achieve their first three-game winning streak since they started the season at 3-0, way back in October.

We all know what happened last time the Wolves faced the Magic coming off an impressive performance, however. Here’s hoping that Ryan Saunders’ crew avoids a repeat on Friday night.

Timberwolves odds against the Magic

Tickets, TV and streaming info for Timberwolves vs. Magic

What to watch for in Wolves vs. Magic

Just as we discussed a week ago, the Wolves should theoretically be encountering a team that is solid on the glass and on the defensive end of the floor but somewhat offensively challenged.

Of course, that’s the opposite of what happened last week when the Magic hung 136 points on the Wolves and Minnesota had no problem scoring.

Wolves center Naz Reid is in the midst of a strong week, but he’ll have his hands full with Nikola Vucevic. Ditto for Juan Hernangomez attempting to check Aaron Gordon. Dealing with Vucevic’s size and Gordon’s athleticism will be a challenge for Reid and Hernangomez, to say the least.

Terrence Ross dropped 33 points on the Wolves off the bench last time around. In fact, in his last four games starting with the win over Minnesota and running through Wednesday’s loss to Miami, Ross is averaging 28 points per game on 54.3 percent shooting and an insane 53.5 percent from beyond the arc on 10.8 long-range attempts per contest.

The Wolves will need to send all five players to the glass to rebound and challenge Malik Beasley, Josh Okogie, and Jarrett Culver to hold Ross in check if they’re going to extend their win streak.

Injury Report

The Wolves are only missing Karl-Anthony Towns (fractured wrist).

The Magic are without starting guard Evan Fournier, who sprained the UCL in his elbow in Wednesday’s game. Fournier is a huge part of their already-limited offense, so his absence in this one is significant.

Next. The rise of Jordan McLaughlin. dark

We’ll be back following the game with player grades. Here’s to a three-game winning streak!