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Portland Trail Blazers vs Minnesota Timberwolves: Match Preview and Predictions - 9th January 2020

Achyut Dubey
ANALYST
Preview
Published Jan 09, 2020
Jan 09, 2020 IST

Portland is struggling to gain momentum this season.
Portland is struggling to gain momentum this season.

Match Details

Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs Minnesota Timberwolves

Date & Time: Thursday, 9 January 2020 (8:00 PM ET)

Venue: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

Last Game Results

Portland Trail Blazers (16-22): 101-99 win over Toronto Raptors (7 January, Tuesday)

Minnesota Timberwolves (14-22): 112-119 loss to Memphis Grizzlies (7 January, Tuesday)

Portland Trail Blazers Preview

Despite incorporating a future Hall of Famer in Carmelo Anthony into their rotation, the Portland Trail Blazers have been unable to produce consistent results this season so far. The team is currently out of the playoff picture with an unimpressive 16-22 (0.421) win-loss record, having lost six of their last eight matchups.

However, they recently beat the surging Toronto Raptors in their own backyard, showcasing hopes of a likely resurgence down the stretch this year.

Key Player - Carmelo Anthony

Melo hit the mid-range dagger against Toronto.
Melo hit the mid-range dagger against Toronto.

With his most recent clutch shot against the Raptors, Carmelo Anthony has hit a total of 17 go-ahead field goals in the final five seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime, which is four more than any player since 2003-04.

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He is shooting over 41% from beyond the arc to average 16.5 points per game across the 23 games he has played so far. This is his best scoring run since he left the New York Knicks. Playing almost 32 minutes per contest, Melo is also averaging 6 boards per matchup and making 81% of his FT attempts.

Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup

Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Kent Bazemore.


Minnesota Timberwolves Preview

With Karl-Anthony Towns suffering from a left knee issue (day to day), the Minnesota Timberwolves recently dropped one in Memphis after failing to contain the Grizzlies' late surge.

The team is currently placed at the 12th spot on the Western Conference standings with a miserable 14-22 (0.389) record next to its name. Their shooting percentages from the field (43%) and from beyond the arc (32%) are amongst the league's worst.

Key Player - Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins is yet to make the leap to the next level.
Wiggins is yet to make the leap to the next level.

Andrew Wiggins is doing most of the offensive heavy lifting in Towns absence. He is averaging a career-high 24.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, on 44% shooting from the floor.

He and Towns are the only Timberwolves players averaging over 14 ppg, as the team struggles to find reliable production from the support crew thus far. The skewed work distribution has led to Wiggins playing almost 36 minutes per game this year and taking over 20 shots on a nightly basis.

Timberwolves Predicted Lineup

Robert Covington, Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Napier, Jarrett Culver.


Trail Blazers vs Timberwolves Match Prediction

While both teams are finding it hard to put together stellar performances, Portland possesses a slight edge in this bout. They are beginning to figure it out with their large moving pieces and are expected to hustle this one out against the hurting Timberwolves side.

Where to watch Trail Blazers vs Timberwolves?

There will be local coverage of the game on Fox Sports North and NBC Sports Northwest from 8:00 PM (ET). You can also live stream the game via NBA League Pass.

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