Sure, there's zero playoff implications, but both teams feature a young group that has played entertaining basketball throughout the season. The Timberwolves, in particular, have been rather frisky. They come into tomorrow’s matchup with back-to-back upset wins over the Utah Jazz, the best team in the league.
They also scored a win over the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, and dragged other East playoff teams in the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics to close games down the wire.
The Timberwolves have probably felt the effects of the pandemic harder than other teams, especially their franchise cornerstone Karl Anthony Towns, who got infected and lost family members due to COVID-19. Towns, despite the challenging year, has soldiered on and has quietly had a solid season, averaging 24.8 points on 49.1 percent shooting with 10.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists. D'Angelo Russell, who missed 30 games this season due to knee problems, has also provided much-needed offense with an average of 19.0 points and 5.1 assists since returning last April 6.
The one thing that has consistently kept Minnesota fans optimistic this year is last year’s first overall draft pick Anthony Edwards. Though he’s been dealing with common rookie problems like low field goal percentage and high turnover rate, Edwards has rounded out nicely over the last few months, providing 18 points per game with a couple of highlights in between.
💥📸🤯— NBA (@NBA) February 20, 2021
Anthony Edwards. More views. Enough said. pic.twitter.com/zTgJJoANmQ
The Houston Rockets, on the other hand, shipped off their best players early in the season, but they still have a few young guys that could play a part in future playoff teams. The Rockets shrewdly landed Christian Wood in the offseason and have seen the undrafted big man blossom in their system. Though he has missed chunks of the season due to ankle injuries, Wood has still been the model modern big man, tallying 21.0 points on 53.7 shooting from the field and 37.6 percent from deep with 9.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per outing.
Also coming from a savvy deal, Kevin Porter Jr. has been a revelation after a tumultuous end to his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Porter, who still has to work on lifting his off-court problems, has lived up to his 2019 Draft hype, playing both guard positions comfortably while showing off his elite athleticism.
Houston also has other young impact players in Jae'Sean Tate and Kenyon Martin Jr., mixed with determined veterans like John Wall and Kelly Olynyk, who want to maintain their place in the league. If anything, tomorrow's game should have plenty of up-and-down action as both teams run fast-paced offenses with porous defenses.
If the game does get out of hand early, you can check out if Stephen Curry can continue his rampage over the last month when the Golden State Warriors face the Dallas Mavericks at 9:30 AM on NBA TV Philippines via Cignal TV or NBA.smart.
Curry just set the record for most 3s in a calendar month, drilling 85 in April. Over that span, Curry put up legendary averages of 38.1 points per game on 52.9 percent shooting from the field and 47.2 percent from 3. He broke Wilt Chamberlain’s Warriors scoring record in the same month. All Warriors games are must-watch TV until Steph decides to calm down.
And he may not get a chance to catch a break as the Warriors are fighting for their play-in spot, sitting at 10th in the West with a 31-30 record. Sitting at just 2.5 games above them in sixth are the Mavericks. If Steph goes crazy tomorrow, Dallas will need magic from Luka Doncic to survive and keep their cushion in the standings steady.