Timberwolves vs. Kings Free Pick 02/27/17 – Larry Ness NBA Predictions
By Larry Ness
The Minnesota T-wolves were a ‘sexy’ pick to make the playoffs this season while no one expected much from the Sacramento Kings.
The teams enter this contest with similar records (T-wolves are 23-36 and the Kings are 25-34) but only the T-wolves seem capable of climbing into the playoff picture, after Sacramento’s trade of DeMarcus Cousins during the All Star break.
The Kings are just one game back of the Nuggets, who currently hold down the No. 8 spot, but there is no way that they can replace Cousins’ production (27.8 & 10.6) with Gay (18.7) having already been lost for the season.
Collison (13.6) is the team’s leading scorer now, although Hield has averaged 15.5 in his two games since the trade and former King Tyreke Evans has added 13.0-4.5-4.0 in his two games back on the West Coast. PF Skal Labissiere had a career-high 12 points in the win over Denver and a career-high 13 rebounds in the loss to Charlotte but he’s far from being ready for prime time!
Minnesota: Anthony-Towns (24.0 & 12.1) and Wiggins (23.4 & 4.2) have not yet lifted the T-wolves into the West’s top-eight (Minny sits three games back) but this is one talented dynamic duo. Wiggins scored in Saturday’s 142-130 loss in Houston and now has scored at least 20 points for the 17th consecutive game.
Towns scored a career-high 37 against the Rockets and added 22 rebounds (he has 59 rebounds in his past three games). Joining that duo are guard LaVine, the 6-11 Dieng (10.2 & 7.9) and PG Rubio (9.1 & 8.6 APG), who was not dealt at the trade deadline despite consistent rumors he would be.
Like many, I’m perplexed as to why Minnesota doesn’t have a better record with its talent. Monday’s game is the second of 16 road games Minnesota will play over its final 24 contests and if the Timberwolves can’t win games like this, there will be no postseason for this team. I’ll take a shot with the underachieving road team.
Larry Ness’ Free Pick: Timberwolves -5 (-103) @ 5Dimes
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