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Minnesota Timberwolves vs Indiana Pacers: Match Preview and Predictions - 17th January 2020

Shubham Pant
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 17 Jan 2020, 01:00 IST

Minnesota Timberwolves travel to face the Indiana Pacers
Minnesota Timberwolves travel to face the Indiana Pacers

Match Details

Fixture: Minnesota Timberwolves vs Indiana Pacers

Date & Time: Friday, 17th January 2020 (7:00 PM ET)

Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

Last Game Results

Minnesota Timberwolves (15-25): Lost 99-104 against the Indiana Pacers (Wednesday, 15th January)

Indiana Pacers (26-15): Won 104-99 against the Minnesota Timberwolves (Wednesday, 15th January)

Minnesota Timberwolves Preview

Karl-Anthony Towns has been one of the most durable players in the history of NBA, missing just 5 games in the last 4 seasons. But this season, a knee injury has kept Towns out for the last 17 games, spiraling the Wolves' season, out of control.

Towns was the centerpiece they built their future around and without him, they have tumbled down to the 12th spot in the Western Conference with a 15-25 record. They are on a 3 game losing streak and need to win some games to have a chance to make the playoffs this season. The good news is that Karl-Anthony Towns is almost ready and will slowly but surely improve how they play.

Key Player - Andrew Wiggins

Minnesota Timberwolves need Andrew Wiggins (right) at his best
Minnesota Timberwolves need Andrew Wiggins (right) at his best

Andrew Wiggins had a breakout season in his 6th year with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was considered to be a player who was just a scorer and his athleticism was going to waste as he was not engaged on defense. His shooting was quite poor as well, which led to a lot of criticism in the off-season, with calls for a trade.

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But credit where credit is due, Wiggins is playing this season with a vengeance and is proving all his critics wrong. He has career-highs in almost categories, averaging 23.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. He is really tuned into defending as well, making 1.7 stocks (steals+blocks) per game too. The Pacers need to keep him quiet if they want to win the match against the Wolves at home.

Wolves predicted lineup

Shabazz Napier, Jarrett Culver, Andrew Wiggins, Robert Covington and Karl-Anthony Towns.


Indiana Pacers Preview

The Indiana Pacers were not considered to be among the teams that would vie for a home court advantage this season, with the Heat and Sixers considered cemented favourites, along with the Celtics and the Bucks. But they are one of the most resilient teams in the league and have once again exceeded expectations.

The Pacers are currently 5th in the Eastern Conference with a 26-15 record, just half a game behind the 4th spot and 2.5 games behind the 2nd seed. They are on a 3 game winning streak and play a struggling Minnesota Timberwolves back to back, looking to continue their solid form.

Key Player - Domantas Sabonis

Sabonis has been the standout player for the Indiana Pacers this season
Sabonis has been the standout player for the Indiana Pacers this season

In the absence of their star guard Victor Oladipo, the Pacers needed someone to step up and take the offensive as well as the defensive hole that Oladipo's absence left. While Malcom Brogdan filled that role a bit, it has been Sabonis who is enjoying a breakout season with the Pacers.

In 37 games this season, Sabonis is averaging 17.8 points, 13.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, all career highs. He has become a mainstay and will look to keep his stellar season rolling against the Timberwolves as well.

Pacers predicted lineup

Malcom Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, TJ Warren, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner.


Pacers vs Wolves Match Prediction

The last game they played was against each other, where the Pacers came out on top. But this time, with Towns back from injury, the chances that the Wolves win are better than ever.

Where to watch Pacers vs Wolves?

You can watch the game live on Fox Sports Midwest - Indiana or you can catch the game on the NBA League Pass.

Published 17 Jan 2020, 01:00 IST
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