The two teams have struggled with the absence of key players this season. From injuries to COVID-19-related protocols, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Atlanta Hawks are missing a complete roster as they look to move up the standings.
The NBA season’s first-half schedule can be viewed here.
Fixture - Minnesota Timberwolves vs Atlanta Hawks | 2020-21 NBA Season.
Date & Time - Monday, January 18th, 2:30 PM ET (Tuesday, January 19th, 1:00 AM IST).
Venue - State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA.
Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
After missing game-time owing to a wrist injury, the Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns announced on Friday that he had contracted COVID-19 and, as a result, will have to be quarantined.
As a result, D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley will have to carry more of the offensive load for the Minnesota Timberwolves due to Towns' unavailability.
Naz Reid is likely to step in for Towns as the Minnesota Timberwolves' starting center. He’ll, however, have his task cut out, as he will come up against the Atlanta Hawks’ Clint Capella ,who has been in fine recent form.
Key Player - D’Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell will have to contain the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young while making sure that his offense doesn’t suffer. That could be a huge task for the 6' 4" guard, but it is one he will have to do to continue his development into one of the league’s top point guards.
In his last two games, Russell averaged 26 points and 6.5 assists per game , which includes a win against the San Antonio Spurs. He could build on these performances and take over the Minnesota Timberwolves offense like he has not done so before.
Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Lineup
G D’Angelo Russell, G Malik Beasley, F Jarrett Culver, F Jared Vanderbilt, C Naz Reid.
Atlanta Hawks Preview
After going 4-1 on the season, the Atlanta Hawks have lost six of their last seven games.
Injuries to Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic have limited the Atlanta Hawks' offensive options, and the franchise is now trying to get by with their youngsters getting more game-time.
With Clint Capella producing performances belying his age, the Atlanta Hawks have found another offensive weapon.
All-Star guard Trae Young regained his shooting touch against Damian Lillard last Saturday. However, his 26 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds came in a loss.
Nevertheless, against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Atlanta Hawks will need the duo to be at their best.
Key Player - Clint Capella
In his last three games, Clint Capella averaged 17.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks a game. This stretch includes a 25-point, 15-rebound and 4-block outing in the loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Atlanta Hawks can build on Capella’s performance as he takes advantage of his matchup with Minnesota Timberwolves' second-year center Naz Reid. Capella could be more than a handful for the Minnesota Timberwolves if he is able to keep Reid quiet.
Atlanta Hawks Predicted Lineup
G Trae Young, G Kevin Huerter, F De’Andre Hunter, F John Collins, C Clint Capella.
Timberwolves vs Hawks Match Prediction
Although they will be missing quite a few players for this game, the Atlanta Hawks aren’t as much in disarray as the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Atlanta Hawks’ core of Trae Young, John Collins and Clint Capella has been solid and could be a handful for the embattled Minnesota Timberwolves.
Scoring 111.4 points per game, the Atlanta Hawks are 14th in the NBA scoring charts, while the Minnesota Timberwolves are giving up 118.7 points per game, which is 27th best in the league this season. That could spell disaster for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are in dire need of help all around.
Thus the Atlanta Hawks are expected to come out on top.
Where to watch Timberwolves vs Hawks?
The Minnesota Timberwolves' game against the Atlanta Hawks will be shown on local television via FOX Sports Southeast Atlanta and FOX Sports North. International viewers will be able to live-stream the game on the NBA League Pass.