The marquee play of the night in the NBA is probably the Celtics getting points at home against a visiting OKC team. That’s good, it means tonight’s 3/20 NBA free play between the Clippers and T’Wolves can kind of fly under the radar. This game has huge implications in the log jammed Western Conference as currently Minnesota is holding on to the 8th spot with a two game lead over the Clips who are in 9th. There was some mystique to the Target Center about a month ago, is a cross country trip enough to doom LA tonight?
The Clips Are Losers Of Three Straight
Los Angeles was sellers at the trade deadline shipping Blake Griffin off to Detroit but they’re almost accidentally in the playoff race. The Clips are trying as they might to head to the lottery by following up a three game winning streak with their most recent three game losing streak. On paper it would seem like the Clippers are playing horrible basketball – but in truth their three losses have been to Houston, OKC, and Portland – arguably the three hottest teams in the entire NBA save for Toronto. That doesn’t mean the 3/20 NBA free pick is going to be easy however because the T’Wolves are fighting for their proverbial lives as well.
LA was already facing an uphill task heading to the Target Center – where the Wolves are 26-9 on the year. It’s looking the Clippers are going to be very short handed on their cross country trip to boot. Tobias Harris is out with the flu, joining Danilo Gallinari (hand), Avery Bradley (hernia), and Patrick Beverly who was already out for the year with a knee injury. Do you trust Montrezz Harzell and Lou Williams to combine for 54 points off the bench like they did Sunday against Portland – and LA still lost?
Timberwolves Suddenly in Must Win Mode
Things were looking good for the Wolves two Sundays ago when they took care of business against Golden State at home 109-103. The scheduling Gods haven’t been kind since that as Minnesota has had to travel to Washington and to San Antonio while hosting their nemesis Houston at home yet again. It was the Rockets who broke the T’Wolves 13 game home winning streak on February 13th. Even so, the Target is still a tough place for the 17-17 road Clippers to play in the 3/20 NBA free pick.
One thing you can say about the Wolves is that they match up well with the Clippers this year. The Wolves own the season series 3-0 and have put up some of their best offensive numbers of the year averaging 117 ppg in the series. The Clippers are getting theirs too though putting up 108.6 in the series which makes the O/U of 226.5 about right on the number. In the most recent meeting at the Staples Center on January 22nd however, Blake Griffin put in 32 points for the Clippers. How are they going to replace that – especially when banged up and especially when flying across the country on one days rest?
3/20 NBA Free Pick Betting
The T’Wolves are the second most popular bet of the night behind OKC with nearly 75% of the bettors backing Minnesota. Nobody would catch blame for fading this pick, but in reality the value is in the Wolves. The Clippers are playing with a skeleton crew that, quite honestly the regular rotation would have had problems with Minnesota in this must win game at the Target Center. The T’Wolves are undoubtedly a different team since Jimmy Butler went down, but if Tom Thibodeau knows anything about coaching he’ll have his team ready for a win tonight. The Wolves are playing their third game in four nights, but LA’s been through some travel woes of their own and it finally catches up to them Tuesday.
Free Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves -4