The Philadelphia 76ers will take on the Minnesota Timberwolves for the second and final time in the 2020-21 season on Saturday. Both teams are on the opposite end of the spectrum as far as the standings are concerned. The Sixers were the runaway winners in the previous outing between the two.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have the worst record in the NBA this season. They pulled off an improbable 18-point comeback win against the New York Knicks but returned to losing ways against Memphis last night. Karl-Anthony Towns managed to shine, though, with 30 points and 16 rebounds.
The Philadelphia 76ers dropped to the second seed after back-to-back losses to LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets but they restored normalcy with a win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite Joel Embiid's absence, Doc Rivers' men have won nine of their 12 matchups since the All-Star break.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Philadelphia 76ers Injury Report
D'Angelo Russell continues to remain sidelined following surgery on his left knee. The point guard is participating in practice again, but the Minnesota Timberwolves are unlikely to take a risk rushing him back.
Ricky Rubio was a late strike in the previous matchup due to back spasms. Although he's still questionable, the backup point guard should be able to make his return to the starting lineup against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Joel Embiid is in line to make his return soon following an ankle injury. He's questionable for the time being. The Sixers have a back-to-back and play the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, so Embiid could be held back for another game.
George Hill is yet to make his Philadelphia 76ers debut and will have to wait further. He's back to on-court activities following but doesn't have the match fitness to feature against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Philadelphia 76ers Predicted Lineups
Expect Malik Beasley's ball-handling role to be reduced with Ricky Rubio likely to return. The duo will round out the Minnesota Timberwolves' backcourt. The Wolves have also been happy to give Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels regular starts as the two forwards. Karl-Anthony Towns has recorded five straight double-doubles and there's no reason for him to not take the center's spot in the lineup.
The Philadelphia 76ers have had a fairly consistent starting lineup all year. Ben Simmons will be running the show as the point guard while Seth Curry will be the go-to sharpshooter. Danny Green and Tobias Harris have been impressive lately on both ends of the court and the duo will occupy the two forward spots. Doc Rivers decided to go with Mike Scott in the starting lineup last time around, but Dwight Howard should begin against Minnesota.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Philadelphia 76ers Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Ricky Rubio | Shooting Guard - Malik Beasley | Small Forward - Anthony Edwards | Power Forward - Jaden McDaniels | Center - Karl-Anthony Towns
Point Guard - Ben Simmons | Shooting Guard - Seth Curry | Small Forward - Danny Green | Power Forward - Tobias Harris | Center - Dwight Howard