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

The shorthanded Minnesota Timberwolves play host to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night at Target Center.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are still without three of their key rotation players, including Karl-Anthony Towns, as they prepare to host the Orlando Magic on Wednesday evening.

The Wolves have lost nine of their last 10 games while the Magic are on a six-game losing streak of their own.

Minnesota will be without the same three players that missed Monday’s game in Atlanta; Towns, Juan Hernangomez, and Ricky Rubio all remain out due to health and safety protocols. Orlando is a bit depleted as well but will have their two best players, Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, available to play on Wednesday while Evan Fournier is listed as questionable.

Even though the Magic have lost six consecutive games, they’ve all come against teams currently solidly in the playoff race in their respective conferences.

The Wolves will have their hands full trying to contain Vucevic, Gordon, and others on the glass. As we’ve noted, Ryan Saunders’ squad has struggled mightily to hold their own on the defensive glass and the Magic are one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the league.

Minnesota Timberwolves odds vs. Orlando Magic

The Magic are favored by four points over the Wolves at Target Center. Given the Wolves’ absences and the fact that the Magic’s recent string of losses came against good teams, this seems about right.

TV and streaming info for Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Orlando Magic

What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Orlando Magic

The Magic are last in the league in 3-point shooting percentage with only Vucevic and Terrence Ross clocking in as above-average long-range shooters. For their part, the Wolves have done a better job defending the 3-point line of late.

The bigger concern in this game is the defensive glass. The Magic are one of the league’s best offensive rebounding teams while the Wolves remain among the worst when it comes to securing defensive rebounds.

Look for the Wolves to consider giving Ed Davis more run in this one to try and combat Vucevic. Naz Reid started the game in Atlanta but struggled with Clint Capela and only pulled down two rebounds in 28 minutes of playing time.

Jarred Vanderbilt should be matched up with Gordon for most of the game in what will be an intriguing test for the Wolves’ new starting power forward.

Offensively, the Wolves have to do what they can to get Malik Beasley involved early. Regardless of how the rest of the game plays out, D’Angelo Russell will take plenty of shots in the fourth quarter. He’ll get his, and it’s more important that Minnesota gets Beasley into the flow of the offense as quickly as possible.

Injury report for Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Orlando Magic

The Wolves are without Towns, Hernangomez, and Rubio due to health and safety protocols. Josh Okogie is again listed as probable with his nagging hamstring injury.

Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz are both out for the season for Orlando. Fournier has played in only five games and is listed as questionable, while Michael Carter-Williams and Mo Bamba both remain out.

Stay tuned after the game for reaction and player grades. Enjoy Wolves-Magic!