Minnesota is certainly having a season to forget, but they did some great work at the trade deadline. In exchange for basically several guys hardly seeing the floor, and Robert Covington and Andrew Wiggins, they brought in guys who can contribute right away.
Malik Beasley is averaging 22 ppg while D’Angelo Russell is adding 21 per night. Juancho Hernangomez and James Johnson are also both averaging 12 & 11 ppg, respectively, adding a new dynamic with multiple scorers out there. It’s setting them up well for next year.
Houston, on the other hand, has had no success over their past four games. They have gone 0-4, taking three of those losses to teams well below their supposed “tier.” Their small-ball experiment has begun to fizzle as teams are just taking advantage of them.
Covington will play in his first game against Minnesota since being traded by them at the deadline tonight, starting at the center spot. He should at least be thankful he won’t have to face Karl-Anthony Towns tonight, but Naz Reid instead as the wrist continues to heal.
The spread for tonight’s game lists Houston as a whopping 12.5-point favorite. The over/under is set at 244.5.
Minnesota looking for its 20th win
While the season hasn’t been going too well for them, there is plenty to be excited about here. The starting backcourt of Russell & Beasley is tearing it up and making opponents sweat each night. The team is finding ways to run up the score in the absence of Towns, so just imagine when he re-joins the team.
Jake Layman is finally healthy again after missing multiple months and is bringing some good energy off the bench. Rookie PG Jordan McLaughlin has also been doing a lot of fantastic dishing off the bench for them. The casual fan may not recognize over half the roster if they look at it, but they’re on the rise.
The matchup tonight should be interesting as the teams are roughly the same size. Naz Reid is the same size as Covington, and they have no backup center.
Houston trying to break the funk
This four-game skid has brought new reason for folks to be worrying about this team. So they will need to take it on themselves to quell any rumors of an early downfall and just get the win. There is no way out of the small-ball game in 2019-20 as their only center is Tyson Chandler, now in his 19th season in the league.
They added Bruno Caboclo and Jeff Green for “big man” depth and have DeMarre Carroll there now as well. That is a solid group of backup forwards if only they didn’t have to be used solely at center.
Westbrook has been playing great ball, while literally everyone else is struggling. They need to get off to a good start, and cannot miss 20 threes in a row, again.
Houston easily beats Minnesota
The game will feature a lot of scoring, but Houston will get the last laugh. A 15-plus-point win.
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