As the season progresses, the cream of the crop is slowly rising to the top. However, some teams are fighting for their playoff lives as we will be previewing right here. Teams with big expectations such as the Wolves, Spurs and Thunder are in a race to be in contention for the NBA’s ultimate prize.
Boston is now two games behind the conference leading Raptors after narrowly going down to a red hot Rockets outfit in one of the marquee games of last week. Prior to that, the C's had won 4 in a row.
The Wolves sit a game behind the Pelicans in sixth spot in the Western Conference standings. Minnesota has lost its mojo recently with Star forward Jimmy Butler going down with an MCL injury. The Wolves have then gone on a 2 game losing run to the Blazers and Utah. Avoiding three losses on the trot is going to be difficult when Boston is the team to beat.
Boston and Minnesota are right in the thick of their respective conference's playoff chase. Without Jimmy Butler in the line-up there is going to be a significant burden on Wiggins and Towns to put up enough offense to get over the top of the Celtics.
Boston's key advantage is their defence in this game though. The Celtics allow 100.2 per game which is 7 points less than the T-Wolves. Towns is one of the main liabilities on the Wolves defence and needs to step up in a big way here.
Boston has been victorious in 4 of the last 5 matches between the two and covered the spread in 6 of the last 8. Hard to see the Wolves covering without Butler.
Tip: Boston Celtics -6