There’s a logjam in the Western Conference as eight teams are within four games of either getting the #3 seed for the playoffs or missing the postseason altogether. The Minnesota Timberwolves (38-29) are one such team and the way they are playing without Jimmy Butler could have them on the outside looking in sooner rather than later. The T’Wolves have dropped three straight and the 3/11 NBA free pick doesn’t look pretty as Golden State, winners of 7 of their last 8, visit the Target Center.
Golden State and Houston in a Race for the Ages
Golden State is chasing Houston for the top seed in the Western Conference and even though Houston lost for the first time in 17 games on Friday in Toronto, the Warriors couldn’t capitalize as they dropped a 108-125 game in Portland. Obviously there’s no panic for Dubs fans even though the Warriors are playing their second straight road game considering Golden State’s 25-8 record away from home. That being said the Warriors have dropped four of their last eight road games and in the 3/11 NBA free pick are facing a Minnesota team that has won 14 of their last 16 home contests.
The Warriors might have the odds against them Sunday mostly due to injuries. Steph Curry is already ruled out due to the ankle injury he suffered Thursday against San Antonio. Jordan Bell will also miss the matchup with the Timberwolves while David West has been out the last three games (cyst in arm) and Andre Iguodala the last two (sprained wrist). When healthy the Warriors have dominated Minnesota by a combined 37 points in two games, but both of those were also in the Bay Area.
Is the ‘Thibodeau Effect’ Hurting Minnesota’s Postseason Chances
Bulls fans know all too well how much coach Tom Thibodeau likes to burn up his horses. Playing starters too many minutes was one of the reasons that led to the coaches exit from Chicago and now his tendencies are rearing their ugly head in Minnesota too. Jimmy Butler is already out for the remainder of the regular season with a knee injury while Andrew Wiggins leads the NBA in total minutes. Karl-Anthony Towns and Taj Gibson both rank in the top 20 in minutes played as well and the Wolves are starting to wear down after dropping three in a row. Ironically the team signed Derrick Rose for depth – a player that couldn’t stay healthy when playing for Thibodeau’s Bulls.
The T’Wolves have been manhandles by the Warriors this season. They dropped a 101-125 contest back in November as +8.5 underdogs and a 113-126 game on January 25th with a line of MIN +12.5. Curry was active in both those games and he’ll be out today – but Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant will play. That’s not good news for Minnesota as the duo combined for 53 points in the most recent win over the Wolves.
3/11 NBA Free Pick Betting
Sure the Warriors are banged up today, but they still send out a lineup that includes Durant, Thompson, and Draymond Green. 67% of the public are on the Warriors despite the fact that they are playing their third game in four days. The trends really are going against the Dubs in this one however as the Warriors are 1-5 ATS their last six road games, 0-5 ATS their last five overall, and 1-4 ATS their last five in Minnesota. With the Timberwolves needing this game, Towns and Co. somehow find a way to get past the thinned out Warriors.
Free Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves +4.5