Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns: Odds, injuries, what to watch for

Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns dribbles the ball past Josh Okogie of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns dribbles the ball past Josh Okogie of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves are back home after an up-and-down road trip and are looking to bounce back following a 27-point blowout loss to the LA Clippers on Saturday night.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns: Odds, injuries, what to watch for

Just when it seems as if the proverbial corner that has yet to be turned is in sight, the Wolves are stopped in their tracks.

The recently-completed road trip brought a collapse, buzzer-beater, and an overtime disappointment all in one loss last Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies. Then, a nearly wire-to-wire loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

That was followed by an impressive, 24-point win over the LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, and it seemed as though things were getting back on the rails. But the third time was not the charm against the Clippers, and the Wolves were blown out on Saturday.

So now, we’re back to feeling as though the Wolves truly need to rebound with a big win. Of course, the defending Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns are on tap for Monday night at Target Center, so it won’t be an easy task at all.

Let’s take a look at the odds, injury report, and what to watch for in Wolves-Suns.

Minnesota Timberwolves odds vs. Phoenix Suns

Somewhat surprisingly, the Phoenix Suns are only four-point favorites on the road in Minneapolis, according to WynnBet. Deandre Ayton is unlikely to play, but it’s still a bit of a shock given the Suns’ eight-game winning streak and the Wolves’ seven losses over their last eight games.

TV and streaming info for Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns

What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns

The Suns have won eight consecutive teams and sit second in the Western Conference with a 9-3 record. Deandre Ayton has missed six of the last seven games, and the Suns basically haven’t missed a beat.

It hasn’t exactly been a murderer’s row of opponents; the Suns have beaten the one-win Houston Rockets twice and the one-win New Orleans Pelicans once during the streak, and they’ve also beaten the likes of the Sacramento Kings and the Portland Trail Blazers over the past couple of weeks.

But Chris Paul has been fantastic, and the Suns’ strong depth has shown up with regularity to help support something of a middle-of-the-road start to the season for Devin Booker, who is shooting just 43.1 percent from the field and 35.5 percent on 3-point attempts.

The Suns are No. 6 in both offensive and defensive rating and No. 5 in net rating across the entire league. They play fast, but they don’t rely too heavily on the 3-point shot. They’re a middle-of-the-pack defensive rebounding team but are No. 29 in offensive rebounding rate as they focus on getting back in transition defensively.

Look for the Wolves to continue to start Patrick Beverley and have him guard Paul. Of course, the two guards were traded for one another back in 2017, and Beverley was fined and suspended for his infamous shove of Paul during last season’s conference finals when Beverley was still with the Clippers. Fireworks tonight, anyone?

The Wolves will likely try both Jaden McDaniels and Josh Okogie on Booker. It will be interesting to see how the Suns go about trying to guard Karl-Anthony Towns. Will they put Javale McGee on him and play things straight up, or will they adopt the Clippers’ method of putting a smaller player (Jae Crowder, most likely) on Towns and doubling post catches.

This will be a tough game for the Wolves to win, but it also has a similar feel to Friday’s Lakers game. Don’t be shocked if Minnesota is ultra-competitive in this one, or even if they manage to win outright.

Injury report for Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns

The Wolves are still only without McKinley Wright IV, who remains in Des Moines with the Iowa Wolves.

The Suns will be without former Wolf Dario Saric, who tore his ACL in last year’s playoff. Ayton did not play Sunday and is doubtful to play on Monday night.

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We’ll see you back here at DWW after the game for takeaways. Here’s to 5-8!