The Minnesota Timberwolves visit the New Orleans Pelicans as they look to extend their winning streak to five games, which would tie a season-best.
Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans: Odds, injuries, what to watch for
The Timberwolves have won four consecutive games. The competition hasn’t exactly been stuffed with world-beaters, but the key thing to note here is that the Wolves have taken care of business against teams they should beat.
They’ll have one more chance to do that on Tuesday night before things get more difficult once again.
The Wolves have beaten the LA Clippers (sans Paul George), the Oklahoma City Thunder twice, and the Houston Rockets. Now, they’ll face the third-worst team in the Western Conference in the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans started the season with a 3-16 record but have gone 11-10 since then. Zion Willamson hasn’t played and won’t for a while, and Kira Lewis Jr. is out for the season with an ACL tear.
Otherwise, New Orleans is relatively healthy and isn’t quite the easy win that they were back in November. Still, the Wolves should win this one if they play as they have for the past week.
Minnesota Timberwolves odds at New Orleans Pelicans
Somewhat surprisingly, the Wolves are only listed as 3.5-point favorites against the Pelicans, according to WynnBet. The Pels have lost four of their last five games and the Wolves are on a four-game winning streak and only have one rotation player on the injury report.
TV and streaming info for Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans
- Tip-off: 7:00 CT
- Television: Bally Sports North
- Radio: 830 WCCO
- Stream: Fubo.tv offers streaming options
What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans
Despite their record, the New Orleans Pelicans are a relatively challenging matchup for the Wolves.
For one, Karl-Anthony Towns struggles a bit with Jonas Valanciunas. The Pelicans big man has averaged 18.3 points and 15.3 rebounds in three games against the Wolves. He was fantastic in the first two games, which the teams split.
In the third game, however, Valanciunas was in early foul trouble and mustered only 13 points and six rebounds. The Wolves won that game easily by a final margin of 110-96.
Overall, the Pelicans are a strong rebounding team, ranking No. 3 in offensive rebound rate and No. 4 on the defensive glass. For a team that struggles to rebound consistently on the defensive end of the floor, that poses a challenge for the Wolves — especially if Towns is unable to stay out of foul trouble, which has also been a problem for him against Valanciunas.
Additionally, the Pelicans are No. 9 in offensive free throw rate, while the Wolves remain dead last in opponent free throw rate. In other words, New Orleans draws a lot of fouls, and the Wolves commit a lot of fouls.
It’s a dangerous combination, and combined with the potential for a high volume of second-chance scoring opportunities, an otherwise poor Pelicans offense could have the chance to keep their team in the game if they capitalize in those categories.
But that’s also the good news. If the Wolves can control the glass and keep Towns out of foul trouble, they should be in decent shape. The Pelicans are bottom-five in both offensive and defensive efficiency and shoot just 33.5 percent on 3-point attempts, which is No. 25 in the league.
Injury report for Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans
The Wolves are listing Patrick Beverley as questionable due to groin soreness for the third consecutive game. He has missed the past two contests, which have both been relatively easy Timberwolves victories.
Leandro Bolmaro remains out due to health and safety protocols.
The Pelicans should only be missing Williamson and Lewis, both of whom have long-term injuries.
We’ll be back after the game with player grades and key takeaways. Enjoy Wolves-Pelicans, and here’s to 21-20 and an above-.500 record!