Minnesota Timberwolves at Indiana Pacers: Odds, Injuries, what to watch for

The Minnesota Timberwolves are coming off of a 10-point win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night and are facing a short-handed, battered, and bruised Indiana Pacers squad on the second night of a back-to-back on Wednesday.

Could this be the recipe for the Wolves’ first two-game winning streak since Dec. 23 and 26, the first two games of the season?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Remember, this is the same Wolves squad who somehow underestimated the Houston Rockets a couple of weeks ago, despite Minnesota carrying the league’s worst record.

Still, D’Angelo Russell is back. Karl-Anthony Towns appears to be as close to 100 percent as he’s been since the start of the 2019-20 campaign. And while Malik Beasley is out once again and Jaylen Nowell is also missing, the Wolves are finally looking comfortable in head coach Chris Finch’s offensive system and are competing with more regularity on the defensive end of the floor.

This is a winnable game for the Wolves, but it’s far from automatic.

Minnesota Timberwolves odds at Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers are favored by two points, according to The Action Network. Taking the Timberwolves +2 doesn’t seem to be the worst idea in this one. Which, of course, probably means that it would be a grave mistake…

TV and streaming info for Minnesota Timberwolves at Indiana Pacers

What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves at Indiana Pacers

The last time the Wolves took on the Pacers, Minnesota took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter before ultimately falling by six in an overtime loss.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points and 10 rebounds in that game, Ricky Rubio had 20 points and 13 assists, and Malik Beasley had 31 points. The Wolves were a -6 in the rebounding column and allowed Indiana to shoot 50 percent from outside the arc — both categories in which the Wolves defense has struggled mightily this season.

The Pacers are No. 11 in the NBA in offensive rating this year but had a tough time with Towns last time out. Those issues figure to get even tougher for Indiana as All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis, who dropped 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists on Minnesota back in February, is listed as questionable.

On the flip side, Caris LeVert didn’t play in the last meeting but will be available this time around. Still, the Pacers could be without some combination of usual starters. Along with Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon sat out Tuesday’s game and is listed as questionable. Jeremy Lamb played through a sprained toe and is also questionable, as is Myles Turner, who sprained his ankle in the third quarter of Tuesday’s loss to the Bulls.

The Pacers are a well-rounded team and have the ability to play a fast-paced game and knock down threes or slow down and operate in the halfcourt. Even a shorthanded Indiana squad will be difficult for the Wolves to overtake on the road, although Minnesota should absolutely be able to hang around in this one.

Injury report for Minnesota Timberwolves at Indiana Pacers

The Timberwolves are without Malik Beasley (hamstring) and Jaylen Nowell (tibia contusion). D’Angelo Russell is listed as probable after coming off the bench in Monday’s win.

The Pacers are still without T.J. Warren. Sabonis, Brogdon, Lamb, and Turner are all listed as questionable.

We’ll be back after the game with player grades. Enjoy Wolves-Pacers, and here’s to a two-game winning streak!