NBA Basketball Matchup:Timberwolves vs Magic
Minnesota actually got above .500 for a brief time a few days ago, but the Timberwolves have lost three straight since.
7:00 PM EST
NBA Gambling Odds from JustBet
NBA Betting Favorite: Magic -5.5
The Timberwolves are a much improved squad with Ricky Rubio at the point guard and talented pieces all over the floor. Orlando was looking terrible a couple weeks ago, but the Magic have righted the ship by winning five of their last seven games.
It will be Kevin Love vs. Dwight Howard in this one.
Ricky Rubio has not disappointed in his first year in the NBA. Rubio averages nearly nine assists per game, and he sees the floor about as anyone in the league. Kevin Love is putting up ridiculous numbers again this season. Love averages 25.6 points and 13.9 boards per contest. Nikola Pekovic is a much improved player this year, which takes some pressure off Love in the low post.
Minnesota is a deeper team this year since it has both J.J. Barea and rookie Derrick Williams in the rotation.
Minnesota was one of the worst in the league defensively last year, but opponents shoot just 43.8% against them this season.
Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando, but the Magic really don’t want to deal him.
Expect him to stay around at least until after the All-Star Game, which is in Orlando this year. Howard averages 20.6 points and 15.5 rebounds per game. One of the main reasons this Magic team is playing much better of late is the re-emergence of Jason Richardson.
Richardson scored 31 points in Orlando’s win over Milwaukee Saturday night. Ryan Anderson and J.J. Redick are both great three-point shooters that stretch the defense.
If Jameer Nelson can improve his offensive numbers it will help this team immensely. Orlando allows just 91.6 points per game defensively.
Minnesota is a better team this year, but Orlando has the momentum right now. Look for Howard to do a nice job defending Love in this one. Orlando has more offensive weapons than Minnesota.
Prediction: Orlando 98 Minnesota 90