The Minnesota Timberwolves host the New York Knicks at the Target Center on Wednesday evening before hitting the road again. Both teams enter this matchup on a losing note, although the Knicks are in much better form.
The Minnesota Timberwolves showed some promise of a resurgence after they won two out of their first three fixtures following the All-Star break. However, they fizzled out quickly, dropping six of their next eight games. Karl-Anthony Towns is on a hot streak though. He's averaging 26.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game since the start of March.
The New York Knicks have done well considering their gruesome schedule. They've split their last 10 games evenly and occupy the fifth seed in the East with a 24-23 record. Defense continues to be the strongest suit for Tom Thibodeau's men, who allow the lowest opposition points per game (104.6) this season.
This will be the second matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New York Knicks this season. The Knicks had escaped with the win in a closely fought affair in the previous game back in February.
New York Knicks vs Minnesota Timberwolves Injury Report
New York Knicks
Derrick Rose missed over three weeks of action for the New York Knicks due to COVID and returned last Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks. He did play extended minutes in two games despite lacking match fitness and is questionable for the tie against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a sore left knee.
Mitchell Robinson is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a broken foot. He's already undergone surgery for the same but no timetable is available for his return. Backup center Nerlens Noel also had a shoulder injury scare against the Miami Heat but his name didn't feature in last night's injury report so he should be available.
D'Angelo Russell underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee back in February. The star point guard is back to on-court activities but still remains sidelined for the time being and will miss the game against the New York Knicks.
Josh Okogie has missed the last four games for the Minnesota Timberwolves and this count could stretch further. Okogie remains questionable as he observes the league's health and safety protocols.
New York Knicks vs Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Lineups
New York Knicks
Reggie Bullock returned to the starting lineup for the New York Knicks against Miami and will retain his spot. Veteran Elfrid Payton will be running the point. The duo could have to play extended minutes in Rose's absence. Julius Randle has been the star of this team and will take care of the power forward's spot on Wednesday. Nerlens Noel will continue to start at center in the absence of Mitchell Robinson. RJ Barrett will occupy the small forward's role and complete the lineup.
Ricky Rubio has been happy to take care of ball-handling duties and would continue to do so in D'Angelo Russell's absence. Malik Beasley returned to the starting lineup after serving a 12-game suspension against Brooklyn. Karl-Anthony Towns will lead the offense for the Minnesota Timberwolves from the center's spot. Rookies Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels will round out the frontcourt.
New York Knicks vs Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Starting 5s
New York Knicks
Point Guard - Elfrid Payton | Shooting Guard - Reggie Bullock | Small Forward - RJ Barrett | Power Forward - Julius Randle | Center - Nerlens Noel
Point Guard - Ricky Rubio | Shooting Guard - Malik Beasley | Small Forward - Anthony Edwards | Power Forward - Jaden McDaniels | Center - Karl-Anthony Towns