The Minnesota Timberwolves are upbeat after winning their last two games against the Utah Jazz and sweeping the season series 3-0 against the league leaders. The Houston Rockets, meanwhile, continue to struggle and are on a four-game losing streak.
Fixture: Minnesota Timberwolves vs Houston Rockets - NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Tuesday, April 27th, 2021; 9:00 PM ET (Wednesday; 6:30 AM IST).
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, TX.
Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
The Minnesota Timberwolves have had an underwhelming campaign, but there have been a few positives too.
The emergence of Anthony Edwards and his formidable partnership with Karl-Anthony Towns, coupled with the team's performances against some of the strongest teams, gives them hope for a better showing next season.
They have won three of their last four games and have improved their defense a lot during this stretch.
The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Utah Jazz 105-104 in their last outing. D'Angelo Russel scored 27 points and dished out 12 assists on the night to lead his team to a third-straight win against the best side in the league.
The win was an unexpected one, as the Minnesota Timberwolves were down 17-33 in the first quarter.
Key Player - Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns has been the Minnesota Timberwolves' MVP this season. One can even say that his absence early in the season due to COVID-19 was one of the reasons why the Minnesota Timberwolves are not in playoff contention this campaign.
Despite his team's dismal campaign, KAT has averaged 24.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per contest. He has played a crucial role in most of his team's wins this season and will be a key player for this game as well.
KAT will be up against Christian Wood, the Houston Rockets' best player so far. If KAT comes out on top in this duel, the Minnesota Timberwolves will fancy their chances of a third win on the trot.
Point Guard - Ricky Rubio l Shooting Guard - Anthony Edwards l Small Forward - Josh Okogie l Power Forward - Jaden McDaniels l Center - Karl-Anthony Towns.
Houston Rockets Preview
The Houston Rockets are set to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013. They were eliminated from postseason reckoning following their 116-129 defeat to the Denver Nuggets in their last game.
The Rockets were severely shorthanded and played with just seven players on the night. The Nuggets, expectedly, dominated the game from the get-go and opened up a 22-point lead, which the Houston Rockets couldn't overhaul.
DJ Wilson scored 25 points, while Kelly Olynyk notched up a double-double, scoring 21 points and 11 rebounds on the night.
Key Player - Kelly Olynyk
Kelly Olynyk has been a solid addition in the Houston Rockets roster. He has averaged 17.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest and has had a player efficiency rating of 20.85.
He will need to come up big at both ends of the floor in this game if the Houston Rockets wish to win on the night.
Point Guard - Kevin Porter Jr. l Shooting Guard - Avery Bradley l Small Forward - Jae'Sean Tate l Power Forward - Kelly Olynyk l Center - Christian Wood.
Timberwolves vs Rockets Prediction
The Minnesota Timberwolves are the overwhelming favorites in this game. They have a much healthier squad and are in better form too.
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets suffered a massive blow, as John Wall has been ruled out of this game. The Houston Rockets already have several other players injured, so all signs point to a one-sided win for the Minnesota Timberwolves on the night.
Where to watch Timberwolves vs Rockets?
The local coverage of the game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Houston Rockets will be available on AT&T Sportsnet - Southwest and Bally Sports North+. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.