The Minnesota Timberwolves, who are on an impressive four-game win streak, welcome the New Orleans Pelicans to the Target Center on Saturday night. Despite being second-bottom in the conference, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been anything but pushovers after their two recent victories against the Utah Jazz.
Fixture: New Orleans Pelicans vs Minnesota Timberwolves | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Saturday, May 1st, 8 PM ET (Sunday, 5:30 AM IST).
Venue: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN.
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
The Minnesota Timberwolves did the New Orleans Pelicans a favour on Thursday night by beating the Warriors. That puts the Pels three games behind the Golden State Warriors, whom they play twice after this fixture.
Despite beating the Clippers and OKC this week either side of a frustrating 2-point loss to the Denver Nuggets, the New Orleans Pelicans are still plagued by inconsistent performances. They rank only one place above their opponents in this matchup for defensive efficiency this season and also rank in the bottom three teams for 3-pointers conceded.
Willy Hernangomez could keep his place in the New Orleans Pelicans starting five, as Steven Adams aggravated a toe injury recently. Adams grabbed three double-doubles in his last five games, two of which came while he was included in the Pels lineup.
Key Player - Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson has done his best to keep the New Orleans Pelicans relevant this season. The 20-year-old has averaged 27 points and 6.8 rebounds in his last ten games. He has also shot the ball at 58% from the field and has been one of the primary reasons the New Orleans Pelicans have allowed the second-fewest rebounds per matchup.
Williamson could have a stellar career in the NBA, but the New Orleans Pelicans will need to build a stronger roster around him.
He ranks in the league's top ten players for points per game among those that have played at least 50 games. Williamson is 16th for field-goal percentage this season. He has also got to the line more often (8.5 times per game) than any other star, except for Giannis Antetokounmpo and Trae Young.
New Orleans Pelicans Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Lonzo Ball l Shooting Guard - Eric Bledsoe l Small Forward - Brandon Ingram l Power Forward - Zion Williamson l Center - Willy Hernangomez.
Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
Minnesota Timberwolves fans will be happy with the way their team is finishing the season. Not only do they have their stars back healthy, they are playing without anything to prove because of their position in their conference standings.
Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards have all been electric recently, helping the Minnesota Timberwolves to six wins in their last ten matchups.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are clearly not content at just riding out the season without giving their best. They held the Utah Jazz to an average of 100 points across two games, and with a fourth-quarter flurry of 37 points, the Timberwolves overcame the Warriors on Thursday.
Key Player - Karl-Anthony Towns
Although there are rumors that Karl-Anthony Towns could be leaving in the summer, the Minnesota Timberwolves have at least had him back at his best recently. In his last ten games, KAT has averaged 24.7 points and shot the three-ball at 40.9% off 6.6 attempts per night.
Minnesota Timberwolves fans will be wondering what could have been if Towns had been fit in more games this season. With him on the court, they are 16-26, while without him, they have gone a dismal 4-18.
Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Ricky Rubio l Shooting Guard - Anthony Edwards l Small Forward - Andrew Wiggins l Power Forward - Draymond Green l Center - Karl-Anthony Towns.
Pelicans vs Timberwolves Match Prediction
Regardless of the outcome, this should be a thrilling affair between two teams that have averaged over 113 points in their last ten games.
Both teams have been porous in defense all season, though, so the stars on display could have big nights on the day. The Minnesota Timberwolves are on an exciting run but could struggle against the New Orleans Pelicans' frontcourt pairing of Ingram and Williamson.
This game could go either way, but with home court advantage and momentum on their side, the Timberwolves have the slight edge in this one.
Where to watch the Pelicans vs Timberwolves matchup?
This match will be telecast on Bally Sports North Plus and Bally Sports New Orleans. With an NBA League Pass, the game can be live streamed as well.