Both teams are expected to end their playoff drought this year but have looked mediocre so far. Even though the NBA play-in tournament gives them hope, they aren't where they expected themselves to be before the season began.
The Pelicans are dealing with a plethora of injuries and are 3-15 right now for the second-worst spot in the West. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves started the season strong but are 7-9 heading into this game.
Fixture - Minnesota Timberwolves vs New Orleans Pelicans | NBA Season 2021-22.
Date & Time - Monday, November 22nd, 2021; 8:00 PM ET (Tuesday, November 23rd; 6:30 AM IST).
Venue - Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA.
Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
The Minnesota Timberwolves are on a three-game win streak and are coming off a historic blowout victory against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Timberwolves won the game 138-95 by a 43-point margin of victory, the second-largest in franchise history.
D'Angelo Russell expressed the confidence he had in his teammates after the game, saying,
"I think we can beat any team. I'll take our 5 against any 5...I'll take our bench against any bench. I'll take our coach"
Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards all dropped 20+ points for the fourth time this season, the most by any trio in the NBA.
Coach Chris Finch has been making the necessary adjustments to the rotation and lineup. He has also given more shot attempts to his star sophomore Anthony Edwards as compared to Towns.
Lastly, Finch has taken the ball out of D'Angelo Russell's hands, making him a shooting guard, and has given point guard duties to Patrick Beverly.
Key Player - Anthony Edwards
Although the trio of Edwards, Russell and Towns have been trading game-high scores, Anthony Edwards gets the most shot attempts for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He dropped a career-high 48 points nearly a week ago against the best defensive team in the league, the Golden State Warriors. Edwards is averaging 22.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game on 43/35/75 shooting splits.
He will be crucial again for the Timberwolves against the Pelicans.
Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Lineup
G - Patrick Beverly | G - D'Angelo Russell | F - Anthony Edwards | F - Jarred Vanderbilt | C - Karl-Anthony Towns.
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
The New Orleans Pelicans aren't looking like playoff contenders this season. It is alarming how abysmal this team can be without a third-year Zion Williamson.
The Pelicans are 26th in offensive rating and 29th in defensive rating. They replaced coach Stan Van Gundy with coach Willie Green this season and so far his tenure hasn't gone as planned. He has had to deal with more injuries than offensive strategies.
Although there are 64 games left in the season and Williamson will eventually return, looking at how things have gone for the New Orleans Pelicans, they haven't looked playoff-bound so far. They are coming off a 17-point loss against a 7-11 Indiana Pacers squad.
Moreover, according to several sources, Williamson is nowhere close to a return and is still weeks away from lacing up in an NBA game.
Devonte' Graham is also listed as questionable for this game due to a foot injury.
Key Player - Jonas Valanciunas
Jonas Valanciunas is carrying the New Orleans Pelicans so far this season. He leads the team in PER and has totalled the most points through their first 18 games.
Brandon Ingram is averaging 22.5 points per game, but has played seven fewer games than Valanciunas. The latter is averaging 19.4 points and 12.9 rebounds per game on an incredible 51/56/86 shooting split.
New Orleans Pelicans Predicted Lineup
G - Devonte' Graham | G - Nickeil Alexander-Walker | F - Brandon Ingram | F - Josh Hart | C - Jonas Valanciunas.
Timberwolves vs Pelicans Match Prediction
The Minnesota Timberwolves look like obvious favorites to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans as the latter is near the bottom of the table in most categories. The Timberwolves are also coming off three straight wins and things are clicking on offense with their trio.
The center battle between Jonas Valanciunas and Karl-Anthony Towns will be an interesting matchup, though.
Where to watch the Timberwolves vs Pelicans game?
The matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans will be broadcast locally on Bally Sports North and Bally Sports New Orleans (NO). The game can also be live-streamed with an NBA League Pass.
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Moreover, fans can tune in to the radio at ESPN 100.3FM and 830 WCCO to listen to the match's live commentary.
Q. Who will win?
23 votes so far