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

Josh Okogie and the Minnesota Timberwolves face the Detroit Pistons in their season-opener. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Josh Okogie and the Minnesota Timberwolves face the Detroit Pistons in their season-opener. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves kick off the 2020-21 NBA season at home against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

Finally, we’re there. The Minnesota Timberwolves are about to play in a regular-season NBA game for the first time in roughly nine-and-a-half months.

They’ll be hosting the Detroit Pistons, widely considered to be one of the two or three worst teams in the league heading into the 2020-21 season. But, of course, anything can happen.

This is a golden opportunity for the Wolves to begin the season with a victory before a difficult road trip takes them to Salt Lake City on Saturday and Los Angeles for games against both the Lakers and Clippers prior to returning to Target Center.

Both teams enter the season relatively healthy and with largely new-look rosters in what should be a fun start to the season.

Minnesota Timberwolves odds against the Detroit Pistons

The Wolves are currently favored by six points over the Magic, according to The Action Network. It’s a game that the Timberwolves should win, but laying the points and picking the Wolves could be dicey on opening night.

It’s the first game of the season for each team, after all. Truly, anything could happen.

TV and streaming info for Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Detroit Pistons

What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Detroit Pistons

The Pistons are one of the few teams in the league who will play a truly large frontcourt. They are likely to start Mason Plumlee at the 5 and Blake Griffin at the 4, sliding new acquisition Jerami Grant to the 3.

Their best players off the bench will be Derrick Rose and rookie guard Killian Hayes, so there’s a real chance that they play two point guards and two big men together throughout the game, shuffling Grant, Josh Jackson, and Wayne Ellington in and out of the game as wings.

Additionally, the Pistons signed Jahlil Okafor and drafted Isaiah Stewart in the first round, so there’s a high likelihood that they play a big frontline for the majority of the game. We may not see Grant at the 4 at all.

The Wolves may counter by starting Juancho Hernangomez at power forward. While Jake Layman started at the 4 throughout the preseason, Hernangomez has a bit more size to combat Griffin and Plumlee.

Karl-Anthony Towns did not play alongside fellow big men Ed Davis or Naz Reid at all in the preseason, but if the Wolves are ever going to play two big men together, this matchup against Detroit is probably that time.

Ultimately, the Wolves should be able to outpace what will likely be a tepid Pistons offense, and we should be careful to not draw too many conclusions about the Wolves’ retooled defensive unit if Detroit fails to crack 100 points in this one.

Injury Report for Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Detroit Pistons

The Wolves are without Jaylen Nowell due to a calf strain. Recently-signed two-way player Jordan McLaughlin will also miss the game as he continues to work through COVID-19 protocols.

The Pistons are only missing Deividas Sirvydis, who is working to pass league health and safety protocols.

Next. Predicting how many games the Wolves will win.... dark

We’ll see you back here at Dunking With Wolves after the game for player grades…