NBA action continues with an out-of-conference clash as the resurgent Boston Celtics host the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves at TD Garden on Friday. The two sides will face off for the first time this season.
The visiting Minnesota Timberwolves remain at the bottom of the Western Conference table, thanks to an abysmal 13-39 record behind them. Despite the rise of rookie Anthony Edwards and the return of Karl-Anthony Towns to top-notch form, the Wolves have continued to slump this campaign.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics returned to .500 on the season with their win over the Knicks on Wednesday. Brad Stevens' side have now won three of their past four games. As a result, the Boston Celtics have climbed to seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 26-26 record ahead of this matchup.
Fixture: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Boston Celtics Prediction - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Friday, April 9th, 2021, 7:30 PM ET. (Saturday 5:00 AM IST)
Venue: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
The Minnesota Timberwolves recently welcomed D’Angelo Russell back into the lineup. The former All-Star could help his side finish off the season on a positive note. Head coach Chris Finch will now have to decide who features as the Timberwolves point guard for the remainder of the campaign.
Despite losing to the Indiana Pacers in their last outing, the Minnesota Timberwolves impressed fans with a stellar second-half showing as they dropped a whopping 81 points in a valiant effort.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the charge with a 32-point outing that included 12 boards and six assists. Meanwhile, his backcourt partner, rookie sensation Anthony Edwards, dropped 27 points to go along with five boards and three assists.
Ricky Rubio and D'Angelo Russell produced an identical 17-point performance in Minnesota's 39th loss of the campaign.
Key Player - Anthony Edwards
It will be difficult for coach Saunders to reduce Anthony Edwards' role in the team, as the first-year guard has elevated his game in D'Angelo Russell's absence. Heading into this matchup, Edwards has registered 20 points or above in six of his past seven outings for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Edwards has been touted as a front-runner for the Rookie of the Year award this season. He is coming off a big performance in the loss to the Pacers and could produce another monster outing when the Minnesota Timberwolves lock horns with the Boston Celtics on Friday.
In 52 games this season, Edwards is averaging 17.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists on 39.7% shooting from the field and 31.4% shooting beyond the arc. The 19-year-old has made a reputation for himself as one of the best flashy dunkers in recent times.
Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Ricky Rubio l Shooting Guard - Anthony Edwards l Small Forward - Jake Layman l Power Forward - Jaden McDaniels l Center - Karl-Anthony Towns
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics have hit their stride, winning three of their last four games. As things stand now, the C's are only half a game behind their Eastern Conference rivals, the Miami Heat.
The competition in the East has not been impressive this season. As a result, this is a golden opportunity for the men in green to climb back into the top four teams in their conference before the playoffs commence.
After dropping one to the 76ers, the Boston Celtics bounced back with a big win against the New York Knicks in their last outing. Even more impressive was the fact that their All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown found their groove and played off each other.
The duo hold the keys to Celtic's successful future, and them playing together as they did against the Knicks bodes well for their upcoming postseason campaign.
In the win against the Knicks, Jayson Tatum tallied 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in an extended 42 minutes from the floor. However, the night belonged to Jaylen Brown, who dazzled with a team-high 32 points while also adding 10 boards and three assists for their 26th victory of the season.
Key Player - Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum continues to lead the Boston Celtics this campaign. Despite the team's struggles, Tatum has continued to improve his production from the floor. In the most recent stretch, he has been on fire, registering 20 points or above in eight of his past nine appearances.
The 23-year-old continues to raise his ceiling this season as he endeavors to lead the Boston Celtics back into the playoff picture.
In 46 games, Tatum is averaging an impressive 25.1 points on a 45% shooting display from the field and a 37.6% shooting accuracy from the three-point line. In addition to his scoring prowess, Tatum is adding seven rebounds and four assists per contest for the Boston Celtics.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Kemba Walker l Shooting Guard - Marcus Smart l Small Forward - Jaylen Brown l Power Forward - Jayson Tatum l Center - Robert Williams III
Timberwolves vs Celtics Match Prediction
The Minnesota Timberwolves are witnessing several key players performing at a high level. The return of D’Angelo Russell to the mix could yield favorable results in this matchup.
The Timberwolves are coming off a high-scoring battle and could give their counterparts a run for their money in Friday night's contest. However, Chris Finch's men will enter this contest as the underdogs.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics are playing with purpose again and have begun finding relative success as a result. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have decided to take matters into their own hands. The duo have been impacting the game on both ends of the floor and will be determined to improve their team's record with another win on Friday night.
Fans can expect a fiercely competitive matchup between the two sides, with the Boston Celtics coming out on top.
Where to watch Timberwolves vs. Celtics?
The game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Boston Celtics will be telecast on NBC Sports Boston and Bally Sports North. Fans can also live stream the game via the NBA League Pass.