Charlotte Hornets vs Minnesota Timberwolves

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Charlotte Hornets have alternated between wins and losses in each of their last 10 games played. The Hornets are 16-18 and second in the Southeast division one game behind 1st place Miami. Charlotte was defeated by the Portland Trail Blazers 123-111 on Monday night. The Hornets defense is beginning to show cracks as Charlotte is 23rd in the NBA in points allowed at 113.5 points per game.

Minnesota continues to disappoint its fans as the Timberwolves are 7-28 and last in the Northwest division, 20 games behind first-place Utah. Minnesota has lost eight straight and 12 out of the last 13. The Timberwolves most recent loss was to the Phoenix 118-99 on Sunday. Minnesota’s defense is 28th in the NBA in points allowed at 116.5 per game and its offense is not much better at 23rd in the league with a scoring average of 108.1 points per game. Injuries have played a big role in Minnesota and the suspension of Malik Beasley has hurt the offense.

Charlotte needs to find consistency

Charlotte is only consistent when it comes to mediocrity. Overall the Hornets are 16-18 and over the last 10 games played Charlotte is 5-5. The Charlotte offense is generating 112.1 points per game led by Gordon Hayward with an average of 21.5 points per game followed closely by Terry Rozier with an average of 20.2 points per game. The Hornets have six players in all averaging double-figures in scoring. Rookie LaMelo Ball is the dish leader for Charlotte with an average of 6.4 assists per game and is the third leading scorer with an average of 15.7 points per game. Charlotte averages 26.9 assists but he’s turning the ball over too often at a rate of 14.8 per game.

On the boards, Charlotte averages 43.7 rebounds per game with 33.0 per game on the defensive end and 10.7 per game off the offensive glass. The king of the boards for Charlotte is PJ Washington with a team-high average of 6.3 rebounds per game. Charlotte is averaging 8.1 steals and 4.6 blocked shots per game with Ball the leader in steals with an average of 1.6 per game and Washington is the leader in blocked shots with an average of 1.2 swats per contest. Opponents are averaging 47.4% shooting overall and 38.1% shooting from long range against the Charlotte defense.

Injury Report: Gordon Hayward and Cody Zeller are questionable for Monday, while Devonte’ Graham is out indefinitely

Minnesota must find a defense

Minnesota is allowing an average of 116.5 points per game and over the last four games, the Timberwolves have allowed 139, 133, 128 and 118 points per game. Each of those four games resulted in a loss as has each of the last 8 games Minnesota has played. Minnesota is 22nd in the league in rebounds with an average of 43.3 per game with 32.7 rebounds on the defensive boards and 10.5 rebounds off the offensive glass. Karl-Anthony Towns is the leading rebounder for Minnesota with an average of 10.7 boards per contest. The Timberwolves average 8.6 steals in 5.7 block shots per contest with Ricky Rubio the leader in steals with an average of 1.2 per game and Naz Reid the swat commander with an average of 1.2 blocked shots per game.

Offensively, Towns is the leading scorer with an average of 22.4 points per game and overall Minnesota is averaging 108.1 points per game. Second-leading scorer Malik Beasley, who averages 20.5 points per game, has been suspended by the NBA for 12 games of which 11 remain to be played. The dish-leader is Rubio with an average of 6.3 assists per game. Minnesota as a team is averaging 25.2 assists per game and 13.9 turnovers per contest.

Injury Report: D’Angelo Russell is out until late March and Malik Beasley is suspended until March 27th

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

Charlotte is coming off a loss and therefore will win on Wednesday. Why do I say that? Because Charlotte has alternated between wins and losses in each of its last 10 games. Charlotte has also covered the spread in four of its last six overall and in for the last six when playing head-to-head against Minnesota. Minnesota will be without second-leading scorer Malik Beasley and third-leading scorer D’Angelo Russell. That puts the onus of scoring on the shoulders of leading scorer Karl-Anthony Towns but Towns needs help from his supporting cast which has been nonexistent of late. Minnesota is allowing an average of 116.5 points per game which is 28th in the NBA. That is translated into the Timberwolves failing to cover the spread in each of the last eight games.

Charlotte Hornets -2.5

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Full-Game Total Pick

The defenses for both Charlotte and Minnesota are weak. The total is finished over in each of Charlotte’s last 5 games and in each of the last eight games that the Hornets have played on the road. When Minnesota faces an opponent from the Southeast Division the total has finished over in 11 of the last 15 games.