The Minnesota Timberwolves will look to get their road trip off on the right foot as they pay a visit to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers: Odds, injuries, what to watch for
The Timberwolves have won three out of their last four games and head out on a West Coast swing with Patrick Beverley’s ankle injury as the only blemish on the injury report.
Now, coming off an impressive win over the Brooklyn Nets, the Wolves start the road trip by taking on a Portland Trail Blazers squad that will be missing Damian Lillard.
Indeed, things are looking up for the Wolves, but they need to be careful to not overlook a Portland team that has been playing decent basketball, even without Lillard’s services. After all, the schedule gets much tougher later this week, with a road back-to-back against the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns looming.
Somehow, the Blazers have managed to go 7-4 since Lillard went down with an abdominal injury. They’ve largely beaten other so-so teams — the likes of Sacramento, Washington, Orlando, Boston, Toronto — while getting beaten by playoff squads, including Miami (twice), Cleveland, and Denver.
The Wolves are closer to the latter group than the former, but as we’ve all seen with Minnesota this year, anything can happen.
Minnesota Timberwolves odds at Portland Trail Blazers
The Wolves are 3.5-point favorites against the Trail Blazers, according to WynnBet. The line is maybe a hair low; after all, the Wolves beat the Blazers earlier this year in Portland by five points in a game in which Lillard played.
TV and streaming info for Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers
- Tip-off: 9:00 CT
- Television: Bally Sports North
- Radio: 830 WCCO
- Stream: Fubo.tv offers streaming option
What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers
The last time these two teams played, the Wolves were just getting back their full complement of starters while trying to end a five-game losing streak. The Blazers had Lillard, but were missing CJ McCollum.
The Wolves will have their entire Big Three again in this one, and Portland will have McCollum but not Lillard.
The Trail Blazers are a top-10 team in 3-point attempts, makes, and percentage. They’re also No. 3 in free throw rate and middle-of-the-pack in offensive rebounding. Somehow, they’re only No. 16 in offensive rating.
The biggest issue for Portland this year, however, has been their defense. They’re No. 28 in defensive rating and allow the league’s highest opponent 3-point shooting percentage at a whopping 37.1.
If the Wolves can hold McCollum relatively in check, the two biggest challenges will be Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons.
Nurkic is averaging a double-double for the Blazers and having an all-around strong season to this point. Anfernee Simons had a major impact the last time the Wolves were in Portland, scoring 26 points off the bench. He’s been starting for the Blazers since Lillard’s injury and has averaged 25 points per game on 47.8 percent shooting and 44.3 percent on 3-point attempts over the last 10 games.
If the Wolves execute on offense similar to what they’ve been doing throughout the month of January, they won’t have any problem scoring against a poor Trail Blazers defensive unit.
Injury report for Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers
The Wolves have Beverley listed as questionable due to the ankle injury he suffered six days ago in Atlanta. He’s missed the only game the Wolves have had since then.
The Blazers are without Lillard (abdominal), Larry Nance Jr. (knee), and Cody Zeller (knee).
We’ll be back after the game with takeaways and player grades. Enjoy late basketball tonight, and here’s to climbing above the .500 mark!