In their first matchup of the 2020-2021 NBA season, the Washington Wizards will take on the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center Arena in Minneapolis. The Wizards are off to one of their worst starts to a season with five straight losses and will look to their leaders in Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook to turn things around for them.
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are off to a decent start, splitting their first four games. They will have their eyes set on taking advantage of a struggling Wizards team.
Expect this game to be filled with high-flying action as the Wizards' leading duo could push hard to register their first win of the season.
Fixture: Washington Wizards vs Minnesota Timberwolves | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Friday, January 1st, 8:00 PM ET (Saturday 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: Target Center Arena, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Washington Wizards Preview
Ahead of the start of the season, the Washington Wizards were looking good on paper with the additions of Russell Westbrook and the No. 9 overall pick, Deni Avdija. But opening their season with five losses has left Wizards’ fans disappointed. Their back-to-back losses against a young Bulls team has cast more doubt on their future as a unit.
On the bright side, Russell Westbrook reached a new personal high by joining the great Oscar Robertson as the only two players in league history to open a season with four triple-doubles in their first four games. However, it has not yielded a win. Even Bradley Beal, who continues to average above 30 points this season, has not been able to make it count in crunch time.
Key Player - Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is the key player for this game as he battles for his first win of the season. He's a triple-double machine who could easily have another record-breaking game in this matchup. However, his focus will be on registering his first win as a Wizard. Russell is averaging 19.8 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 12.3 assists in 27.3 minutes per game.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
G Russell Westbrook, G Bradley Beal, F Deni Avdija, F Rui Hachimura, C Thomas Bryant
Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
The Minnesota Timberwolves will be hoping to avoid their third consecutive defeat after getting bested by the LA Clippers in their previous game. The Wolves are led by D’Angelo Russell, who is averaging 17.3 points, 4.3 assists on 42% shooting from the floor with support from Malik Beasley and Anthony Edwards, both scoring in double digits.
The Timberwolves have underperformed after losing their star player, Karl-Anthony Towns to an injury. Their tough loss to the LA Clippers will have them in a similar mindset as the Washington Wizards, with both teams eager to win their first game of the new year.
Key Player - D'Angelo Russell
With Karl Anthony Towns out for this game, the Minnesota Timberwolves will look to D'Angelo Russell to lead their side in this matchup. Russell is a score-first guard who can light up the other team at a moment's notice. He has performed well for the Wolves so far and will bear the burden of his scoring and ball handling against the Washington Wizards.
Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Lineup
G D'Angelo Russell, G Malik Beasley, F Josh Okogie, F Jake Layman, C Naz Reid
Wizards vs Timberwolves Match Prediction
The Timberwolves have had a good opening so far, but the injury to their star-player Karl-Anthony Towns leaves this game up for grabs. The Washington Wizards are the favorites to win this matchup. Expect them to finally register their first win of the season, powered by big performances from their backcourt — Westbrook, and Beal.
Where to watch Wizards vs Timberwolves?
Local coverage of the game will be available on FOX Sports North and NBC Sports Washington. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.Published 01 Jan 2021, 21:56 IST