Minnesota Timberwolves at Indiana Pacers: Odds, injuries, game preview

Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell talks to center Karl-Anthony Towns. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell talks to center Karl-Anthony Towns. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves hope to bounce back from two straight road losses as the team heads to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to play the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Indiana Pacers: Odds, injuries, game preview

After an encouraging 5-game winning streak, the Timberwolves have dropped a pair of matchups against the Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls, with both losses coming by double digits.

Chris Finch has to be concerned with the defense after giving up 130+ points in the last two games and allowing both teams to shoot better than 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. The defense has been putrid in recent weeks and the Pacers have players that can take advantage, despite riding a 5-game losing skid of their own.

Indiana acquired Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield from Sacramento prior to the trade deadline on Thursday and both players stuffed the stat sheet in their team debut. Haliburton scored a team-high 23 points and six assists, while Hield hauled in 16 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists but the Pacers fell to 19-38 and the No. 13 spot in the Eastern Conference.

Minnesota has a much more talented roster, especially with D’Angelo Russell back in the lineup, and Karl-Anthony Towns should be able to dominate Indiana’s inferior frontcourt.

Towns has put up 27.7 points and 10.6 rebounds on 55.5 percent from the field in 12 career games against the Pacers including a 42-point, 19-rebound outing in 2019.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Indiana Pacers odds

The Timberwolves are favored by six points over the Pacers per WynnBet. Minnesota is 13-17 on the road and averaging 125.2 points per game this month, while Indiana is giving up an alarming 122.5 points in their last 10 games and are just 13-16 on their home floor.

The Pacers defense is ranked fifth-worst in opponent field goal percentage which the Timberwolves should be able to exploit.

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What to watch for in Minnesota Timberwolves at Indiana Pacers

Since the Timberwolves don’t have to worry about Domantas Sabonis this time around, Towns will be the most dominant big man on the court by a wide margin. Without an injured Myles Turner, the Pacers started Goga Bitadze against Cleveland but he played just 10 minutes as Isaiah Jackson, Jalen Smith and Tristan Thompson split time off the bench.

No matter who the Pacers put on the floor on Sunday afternoon, Towns will have a distinct advantage. The Timberwolves center should look to be aggressive early on and set the tone. If Anthony Edwards is unable to play with recurring knee soreness then Russell and Malik Beasley will have to pick up the majority of the scoring slack alongside Towns.

The Timberwolves must remain engaged defensively as well. Although the Pacers don’t have any elite scorers, there are several guys who can beat defenders off the dribble and from deep. In addition to Haliburton and Hield, rookie Chris Duarte is a skilled shot creator. The 6’5 guard is averaging 13.7 points on 36.6 percent from 3-point territory.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Indiana Pacers injury report

The Timberwolves are expected to have Russell (shin), Patrick Beverley (ankle), Josh Okogie (quad) and Taurean Prince (ankle) available after missing time in recent weeks.

Edwards (knee) is questionable for a second consecutive game as he’s been dealing with left patella tendinopathy for more than a month. He had 31 points and eight assists in the loss at Chicago on Friday night. The Pacers will be without starters Turner (foot), Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles), and TJ Warren (foot).

Next. Anthony Edwards must improve his shooting at the rim. dark

We’ll be back after the game with a few takeaways and player grades. Enjoy Sunday afternoon basketball!