Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks: Odds, injuries, what to watch for

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves will look to end the season on a high note as they play host to the playoff-bound Dallas Mavericks in the final game of the 2020-21 campaign.

The Timberwolves have lost two straight games after winning two in a row prior to the current mini-skid. Overall, the Wolves are still 6-5 in their last 11 games and would love to end the season feeling good about their performance during the final 30 days or so of the season.

The Mavericks have been playing great basketball over that same stretch, winning 12 of their last 15 games and six of their last seven. Their finally relatively healthy, likely to only be missing big man Maxi Kleber for Sunday’s tilt.

The Mavs don’t have much to play for, although a loss to the Wolves and a win by the Portland Trail Blazers tonight in Denver would bump them from No. 5 to No. 6 in the West. No matter what, however, they’ve avoided the play-in tournament.

The Wolves are tied with Cleveland for the fifth-worst record in the league. Orlando and Oklahoma City are each one game worse and unlikely to win in their respective final games of the season, but the Wolves could “fall” to the sixth-worst record with a win and a Cavaliers loss in Brooklyn.

Minnesota Timberwolves odds vs. Dallas Mavericks

The Wolves are listed as seven-point underdogs at home in the finale, according to WynnBet. It seems slightly high, given the Wolves’ genuine desire to keep winning and how much better Chris Finch’s group has played of late, Saturday’s ugly matinee loss to Boston notwithstanding.

TV and streaming info for Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks

What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks

The Wolves have lost to the Mavericks twice already this year.

The first time, Minnesota was sans Karl-Anthony Towns and lost D’Angelo Russell in the first quarter due to injury. Subsequently, the Wolves were down big going into the fourth quarter but put up 45 points in the final frame to make the final deficit only five points. Malik Beasley, who won’t play in Sunday’s season finale, scored 30 points in the loss.

The two squads matched up again on March 24. After leading by just a single point at halftime, the final 24 minutes was all Mavericks as Dallas ended up emerging victorious by 20 points.

The Wolves have largely done a decent job guarding Luka Doncic this season and have instead been hurt by the Mavs’ other players.

Last time around it was Kristaps Porzingis, who dropped 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds. The Mavs dominated the glass in March by a 53-37 margin, including a whopping 14 offensive rebounds.

Minnesota will need everyone to rebound their positions in this one, and it goes without saying that they’ll need to shoot the ball much better from deep than their hideous 5-for-37 performance on Saturday against the Boston Celtics.

It will be interesting to see how either team might react to a large early deficit. Dallas may choose to pack it in to rest up for the playoffs, and the Wolves may do the same to protect their young talent in a largely meaningless game.

Injury report for Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks

The Wolves will only be missing Jarrett Culver and Malik Beasley, while the Mavs will be without Kleber and J.J. Redick.

Next. Everyone Kevin Garnett mentioned in his HOF speech. dark

We’ll be back after the game with the final postgame player grades of the 2020-21 season. Enjoy the finale!