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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Portland Trail Blazers prediction and pick for Monday's game. Handicapper Jonathan Macri breaks down the Wolves vs. Blazers, plus the Knicks vs. Kings in his best picks for Monday's NBA action.
ANALYSIS

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Portland Trail Blazers: Break Up the Wolves and More

  • When: 8:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: League Pass

Timberwolves vs. Trail Blazers Line Movement

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Portland Trail Blazers Prediction

Is it time to start taking the Minnesota Timberwolves more seriously?

Over the last four games, all Wolves wins, Minnesota has put up 127, 114, 138, and 121 points. Their total margin of victory in that time of 71 points is second only to the Pelicans. Notably, Anthony Edwards has been injured for the last three of those, and will once again be missing tonight. The team may be less exciting in his absence, but they're arguably more sound defensively and more efficient on offense.

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As a result of their exploits, the Wolves have rocketed to within 2.5 games back of the 6th place Nuggets and within 3.5 games back of the 5th place Mavs. Minnesota knows they can't afford to let up. They're facing the right opponent tonight.

The Portland Trail Blazers over their last four games have by far the worst scoring margin in the NBA at minus 113. Their last loss, to these Wolves, came by the closest of those margins - 14 points. However, Anfernee Simons was in for that game and managed to single-handedly keep Portland in it until the fourth quarter with 38 points on 25 shots.

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Simons is out tonight, leaving the Blazers with arguably no NBA-level rotation players healthy and ready to go. Ben McLemore is the Portland player with the most NBA experience. Given that reality, what seems like a huge line given that Minnesota isn't a top NBA team, it's clearly not high enough. Give the points at home as the Wolves get their 5th straight.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Portland Trail Blazers Pick

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Sacramento Kings vs. New York Knicks Prediction

  • When: 10:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: League Pass

Kings vs. Knicks Line Movement

Sacramento Kings vs. New York Knicks Prediction

Every time I think I'm out...

Well, not quite. Despite getting their first win in nearly a month, the Knicks have not magically kick-started their chase for the play-in. New York is still 5.5 games back of the three teams tied for 8th through 10th place with the suddenly decent Wizards between them and that group.

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That said, New York has found something over their last few games - a last-second loss in Phoenix and a blowout victory in Los Angeles against a Clipper team that had won five straight. The young players have come off the bench and largely found success for the Knicks, with mid-season acquisition Cam Reddish stepping in at the backup four for Obi Toppin, who has been out the last two games with a bad hamstring.

That bench unit, often with RJ Barrett joining them, didn't give up a point in nearly 10 minutes of action against the Clippers, and while the starters continue to frustrate, Tom Thibodeau has tightened his leash just a bit recently. Tonight, they face Sacramento, who has a 25th ranked net rating of negative 6.6 as they've dropped six of their last eight games.

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This game is essentially a toss-up, so take the points where you can get them. New York is feeling good and should carry those vibes into tonight, even if it is on the second night of a back-to-back. Take the points on the road.

Sacramento Kings vs. New York Knicks Pick

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Article Author

NBA

Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.

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