The new-look New York Knicks have exceeded expectations this season as they look good to end their long postseason drought spanning seven years.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves are undergoing a rebuilding process. They are seemingly tanking the season to acquire a high draft pick, as a bevy of injuries plagued them early on to give them the worst record in the league.
Fixture: New York Knicks vs Minnesota Timberwolves | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 31st, 2021; 8:00 PM ET (Thursday, April 1st; 5:30 AM IST).
Venue: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN.
Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
The Minnesota Timberwolves don't lack talent by any means. They have All-Stars, Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, a respected playmaker and point guard, Ricky Rubio and a young phenom and first overall pick, Anthony Edwards. However, injuries have derailed their season as they eye the lottery pick in the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft.
They seem to have the pieces for a decent playoff run and might be a force to reckon with next year. Karl-Anthony Towns is back and is averaging great numbers, albeit in his team's losses.
The Minnesota Timberwolves could also trade their current players for a host of assets. Their mission this season would be to get their young players more playing time to help them develop. The Minnesota Timberwolves also need to make the right choices in the off-season and free agency market.
Key Player - Anthony Edwards
Anthony Edwards is averaging stellar numbers in his rookie campaign. He is one of the few bright sparks in an otherwise dismal Minnesota Timberwolves campaign, putting on a show with his ferocious dunks.
Nevertheless, in a season going haywire for the Minnesota Timberwolves, one thing that could salvage the year is Edwards winning the 'Rookie of the Year' award.
Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Ricky Rubio | Shooting Guard - Malik Beasley | Small Forward - Anthony Edwards | Power Forward - Jaden McDaniels | Center - Karl-Anthony Towns.
New York Knicks Preview
The New York Knicks have been one of the most impressive teams this season. They were ranked 28th or lower in most statistical categories last year but have changed their fortunes this campaign.
Coach Tom Thibodeau has rejuvenated the New York Knicks, who are now fourth in the Eastern Conference and first overall in defensive ranking in the league. Reggie Bullock, RJ Barret and Alec Burks have shown great improvement this year and have played key roles in the New York Knicks' ascent.
Rookie Immanuel Quickley has impressed in his rookie campaign. Picked 25th overall, he has shown the league his potential, proving that he deserved to be a higher draft pick. Quickley is ranked third in the Rookie of the Year power rankings.
The New York Knicks have won four of their last six games, which includes a victory against the Milwaukee Bucks, who had rested Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Key Player - Julius Randle
The New York Knicks' main player and highest scorer, Julius Randle, has taken this team back into playoff contention.
Averaging career-highs in most categories, he earned his first All-Star selection this year. The improvement in his jump shot has been particularly impressive. Opposition defenses used to contend with Randle taking three-point shots, as he averaged 27% till last year. But this season, he is averaging nearly 42% from the deep.
New York Knicks Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Elfrid Payton | Shooting Guard - Reggie Bullock | Small Forward - RJ Barrett | Power Forward - Julius Randle | Center - Nerlens Noel.
Knicks vs Timberwolves Match Prediction
The New York Knicks are the clear favorites to win this game. They are fighting for a decent spot in the playoffs, while the Minnesota Timberwolves are in the lottery.
The Timberwolves' weak offense may not stand a chance against the Knicks' top-rated defense. The Timberwolves may not look to win games in the first place, as they want to guarantee themselves a high draft pick.
Where to watch the Knicks vs Minnesota Timberwolves game?
The New York Knicks vs Minnesota Timberwolves game will be locally televised on FOX Sports North and MSG Network. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.