It’s opening night in the National Basketball Association for many teams. After the Warriors/Spurs and Cavaliers/Celtics on Tuesday night, most of the rest of the league tips off. This game features the Minnesota Timberwolves against the San Antonio Spurs. Both these teams have high expectations to reach the postseason out of the Western Conference.
Minnesota failed to reach the postseason a season ago, and held the 7th worst record in the league. Minnesota won just 31 games in the regular season. The Timberwolves went just 11-30 on the road. For the Spurs, they won 61 regular season games, but failed to reach the NBA Finals, as Golden State eliminated them. The San Antonio Spurs are -2 over the Minnesota Timberwolves in this game.
Spurs Defense Still Elite
The San Antonio Spurs defense is still going to be one of the best in the league. A season ago, the Spurs allowed just 98 points per game. That was second best to Utah. The Spurs will be without their top defensive stopper in Kawhi Leonard for a few games to start the season. The Spurs saw Leonard lead the team in almost all categories a season ago.
LaMarcus Aldridge is back for the Spurs this season as well. He signed an extension for three seasons in San Antonio. The Spurs are seeking their third straight season with 60 or more wins in the regular season, and it would be their fourth in 5 years.
Butler Added to Minnesota
The Minnesota Timberwolves are led by Tom Thibodeau as the head coach. He added some help this season with the additions of Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson, who he had in Chicago as well. The Timberwolves will start Butler, along with point guard Jeff Teague, small forward Andrew Wiggins, power forward Taj Gibson and big man Karl Anthony Towns.
A season ago, the Timberwolves were anchored offensively by Towns and Wiggins. Towns scored 25.1 points per game, and ripped down 12.3 rebounds per game. Wiggins scored 23.6 points per game. That will go with Jimmy Butler, who has not only been an elite defender but a great scorer as well.
Minnesota Wins on the Road
The Minnesota Timberwolves are going to be a pretty good basketball team this season. While, San Antonio is going to be good again, the younger, more athletic team is going to come away with the win in this game. San Antonio without Leonard is a different team, and they are going to miss him here.
Look for Butler to fit in well with Wiggins and Towns. Do not sleep on Jeff Teague either, as he can get the job done at the point guard spot. When you are betting this game, take the Minnesota Timberwolves +2 over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
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