The Minnesota Timberwolves were expected to take a big step forward this year after acquiring All-Star center Rudy Gobert in the offseason, which gave the Wolves what was thought of as one of the NBA's top frontcourts with Gobert and fellow All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns. The results have been mixed so far with Minnesota at 10-11 and starting life without the injured Towns tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies, who are 2.5-point road favorites at Caesars Sportsbook.
Towns left Monday's 142-127 loss to Washington, the team's third straight defeat, in the third quarter when he suffered a non-contact injury as he was attempting to get back on defense with 05:25 remaining. The initial fear was it might have been a torn Achilles, which is about the worst possible thing for any athlete, but it's a right calf strain. Towns should make a full recovery and return in 4-6 weeks – sometime in January.
The 27-year-old averaged 21.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists this year. He has led the team in scoring seven times, in rebounds six times and assists five times. He recently became just the 19th player to reach the 500-career-game milestone having already collected at least 11,000 points and 5,000.
Minnesota has at times struggled without him on the court this year, particularly when deploying lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together. Those groups have struggled to an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes). Gobert and Towns have played together in 19 of the Timberwolves' 21 games this season for a total of 401 minutes. Kyle Anderson is the most likely player to start in Towns' place. Jaden McDaniels is questionable for Minnesota. McDaniels (11.4 points per game) has missed the last two games due to illness.
Memphis remains without its second-leading scorer in guard Desmond Bane (24.7 PPG), who is sidelined with a toe injury. He is no longer in a walking boot and has resumed doing light work with the team's staff. Dillon Brooks is questionable due to right thigh soreness. He averages 17.6 PPG.
This is the Grizzlies' first game in the Twin Cities since beating the Timberwolves 114-106 in Game 6 of their 2022 first-round playoff series to eliminate Minnesota. The teams played on Nov. 11 in Memphis and the Grizzlies prevailed 114-103 behind 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists from Ja Morant. Towns finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Get more out of your SportsLine subscription!
- Picks: NFL | NBA | CFB | CBB
- DFS: Lineup Optimizer | Picks
- Early Edge: YouTube | Apple Podcasts
- Newsletters: SportsLine Daily | Fantasy
Qualifying SportsLine members receive a 30-day free trial of Paramount+ premium. Sync your account right here.
Share This Story