The Memphis Grizzlies take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second of their back-to-back matches at the Target Center. The Grizzlies came out on top 118-107 in the first meeting between these two sides. A combined 50-point performance by Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell wasn't enough for the struggling Timberwolves.
The Memphis Grizzlies are 10th in the West, while the Minnesota Timberwolves are languishing at the bottom of the Conference. The Grizzlies' victory saw a team effort in their previous game, with five players scoring in double figures. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are having an awful start to the campaign but will be glad to have their key player Karl-Anthony Towns back, after he missed a few weeks with a wrist issue.
Fixture: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Friday, January 15th, 2021 8:00 PM ET. (Saturday 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: Target Center, Minnesota
Memphis Grizzlies Preview
The Memphis Grizzlies haven't had an ideal start to the 2020-21 NBA season. After Jaren Jackson Jr. and Justice Winslow continued to sit out with injuries, main man Ja Morant sprained his ankle.
In their absence, however, the trio of Brandon Clarke, Dillon Brooks, and Jonas Valančiūnas have done an excellent job stepping up. They are collectively averaging 44.6 points this season.
Jonas Valančiūnas, in particular, has been a massive boost to the team and has recorded double-doubles in nine of eleven games for the Memphis Grizzlies this season.
The Grizzlies are also doing a decent job defensively this season thanks to Coach Taylor Jenkins' strategies, and are placed fourth defensively in the NBA.
Moreover, they go into Friday's match with a huge boost, as star Ja Morant is expected to return.
Key Player - Ja Morant
After being injured in the third game of the season, Ja Morant will finally return for the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. The 2nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Morant won Rookie of the Year last season, after averaging 17.8 points and 7.3 assists.
In the three games Morant played this season, he was phenomenal and averaged 36 points in his first two games before picking up an injury against the Nets. His return will be a massive boost for the Grizzlies, who will be looking to build on their three-game win streak.
Memphis Grizzlies Predicted Lineup
G Ja Morant/Tyus Jones, G Dillon Brooks, F Kyle Anderson, F Brandon Clarke, C Jonas Valančiūnas.
Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
The Minnesota Timberwolves have had a terrible start to the 2020-21 NBA season. They have a 3-8 record and have to pick up victories quickly if they are to stay in the playoff race. Anthony Edwards, the first overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, has had a shaky start and is converting just 37.9% of his field goals.
Malik Beasley was on fire, leading the team in scoring the last game with 28 points, in the last game against the Memphis Grizzlies and will look to continue the same form. However, Minnesota's defense is the main problem, as the team ranks third from bottom in defensive efficiency.
Key Player - Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns has only played four games for the Timberwolves this season, but his impact on the team is enormous.
He averaged 25 points and 13.5 rebounds and led his team to victory in the first two games of the season. The Timberwolves have slumped in his absence, and he will be looking to get the team back on track.
Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Lineup
G D'Angelo Russell, G Malik Beasley, F Jarett Culver, F Josh Okogie, C Karl-Anthony Towns.
Grizzlies vs Timberwolves Match Prediction
The Memphis Grizzlies are favorites to clinch another victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. With the possibility of Ja Morant returning, it only strengthens the Grizzlies further.
While D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns would want to get a win here, we can expect Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies to take full advantage of the shaky Timberwolves defense.
Where to watch Grizzlies vs Timberwolves
Local coverage of the game will be available on Fox Sports North and Fox Sports South East. The game can also be live-streamed via the NBA League Pass.