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

The Minnesota Timberwolves are taking on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Timberwolves are taking on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves are in Los Angeles to take on the defending-champion Lakers, who will be without their superstar big man.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are 2-0 and in sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division.

Yes, the season is only a few days old. And yes, the Wolves started last season 2-0 before everything went down the tubes in shockingly fast fashion.

But the Wolves pulled out an ugly win at home against Detroit on Wednesday and led nearly wire-to-wire against the Utah Jazz on the road on Saturday. They allowed the Jazz to get back into the game before holding on late, although it came with a potential cost.

Karl-Anthony Towns landed hard on his left wrist after trying to dunk over Utah’s Rudy Gobert. He went to the locker room but was able to come back and finish the game. Towns is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Lakers, but is reportedly expected to play.

The Lakers are 1-1 after a hard-fought opening night loss to the LA Clippers on Wednesday and an easy Christmas Day win over the Dallas Mavericks. They are without Anthony Davis, who will sit out with a calf injury.

Minnesota Timberwolves odds against the Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are favored to beat the Wolves by nine points. Given that the Wolves are on the road and on the second night of a back-to-back, the line is not all too shocking, even with Davis’ injury.

TV and streaming info for Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers

  • Television: Fox Sports North, NBA TV
  • Radio: 830 WCCO
  • Stream: Fubo.tv offers streaming options

What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers

Even without Davis at their disposal, the Lakers have a formidable frontcourt rotation that a battered Towns and the Wolves struggling cadre of power forwards will have to contend with.

Marc Gasol is the starter at center. It’s unclear what the Lakers will do to replace Davis in the starting lineup. Most likely, Markeiff Morris or Kyle Kuzma will start, but perhaps LeBron James will slide to the 4 and the Lakers will start Wesley Matthews. Don’t expect reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell will start.

The biggest thing to watch for when it comes to the Wolves is what they’ll do with their own power forward spot. With Jake Layman and Juancho Hernangomez struggling mightily to start the season, the Wolves used rookie Anthony Edwards and wing Josh Okogie at the 4 for the majority of the win over the Jazz.

It seems unlikely that Minnesota will move Edwards into the starting lineup already; given his impressive start to the season, it makes more sense to keep him comfortable, coming off the bench with Jarrett Culver and Ricky Rubio.

Will the Wolves try Naz Reid next to Towns for stretches in this game? That could allow Ed Davis to play some minutes at the 5 behind Towns. Minnesota’s lineups with Reid at center struggled to rebound consistently against Utah, and Davis would bring an edge on the glass that the Wolves desperately need.

Injury Report for Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers

Davis is out with a calf injury. Towns is listed as questionable but is likely to play through his left wrist injury.

Jaylen Nowell is still out with his own calf injury.

Next. The Wolves are too low in ESPN's League Pass rankings. dark

Check back after the game for player grades. Enjoy the game!