Oklahoma City Thunder vs Minnesota Timberwolves

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Oklahoma City completes a back-to-back on Monday when it visits the Minnesota Timberwolves after playing on the road Sunday against the Houston Rockets. Oklahoma City has lost each of its last two including a 116-93 loss on Thursday night to the Atlanta Hawks. With the loss to the Hawks, Oklahoma City dropped to 17-24 and is fourth in the Northwest division 13 games behind front-running Utah. Oklahoma City’s offense has performed poorly the last two games averaging only 98.5 points per game.

The Minnesota Timberwolves were defeated by the Phoenix Suns 113-101 on Friday in their most recent game and with the loss, Minnesota remained in last place in the Northwest division 20 ½ games behind the Utah Jazz. Minnesota has alternated between wins and losses in each of his last seven games. The Timberwolves have suffered from injuries and sickness for most of the season but little by little players are returning to action but remains with second-leading scorer Malik Beasley and third-leading scorer D’Angelo Russell.

Oklahoma City needs help on offense

Oklahoma City is scoring an average of 106.0 points per game which is just 27th in the NBA. The Thunder are shooting only 44.8% overall and 34.6% from long distance. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the leading scorer with an average of 23.5 points per game, but could miss Monday’s game with a shoulder injury. Gilgeous-Alexander is also the dish leader for Oklahoma City with a team-high 6.0 assists per game. Oklahoma City averages 22.8 assists per game but is averaging too many turnovers as the Thunder commit 14.0 miscues per contest.

Oklahoma City averages 44.3 rebounds per game with 36.3 off the defensive boards and 8.0 off the offensive glass, with Darius Bazley (out injured) the king of the boards averaging 7.5 per game. Oklahoma City is averaging 6.9 steals and 4.4 blocks per game with Hamidou Diallo the leader in steals with an average of 1.0 per game and Bazley the swat commander with an average of 0.6 blocked shots per game. Oklahoma City is allowing an average of 112.2 points per game which is 17th in the NBA and opponents are rebounding an average of 47.7 boards for contest which is 27th.

Injury Report: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is questionable for Monday, George Hill is out until April and Darius Bazley is sidelined indefinitely.

Minnesota needs help on defense

The Minnesota Timberwolves are allowing an average of 117.2 points per game which is 28th in the NBA. Opponents are shooting 48.0% overall against Minnesota which is 29th in the NBA and averaging 46.8 rebounds per game against the Timberwolves. Minnesota is averaging 43.1 rebounds per game with 32.7 on the defensive end and 10.4 per game off the offensive glass. Karl-Anthony Towns is the leading rebounder for Minnesota with an average of 10.2 per game. Minnesota averages 8.7 steals and 5.7 blocked shots per game with Ricky Rubio the leader in steals with an average of 1.3 per game and Naz Reid the local swat commando with an average of 1.2 blocked shots per game.

Minnesota is 23rd in the NBA in scoring with an average of 109.5 points per game led by Towns with an average of 23.1 points per game. Second leading scorer Malik Beasley, who averages 20.5 points per game remains suspended while third-leading scorer D’Angelo Russell is out injured. The leader in assists for Minnesota is Ricky Rubio with an average of 6.7 per game and as a team, Minnesota’s average is 25.1 assists per game but turns the fall over too often at a rate of 14.0 miscues per contest. Minnesota has a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Injury Report: Malik Beasley is out until March 27th on a suspension, while D’Angelo Russell is out until early April and Jordan McLaughlin is out indefinitely

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Both Oklahoma City and Minnesota will be short-handed on Monday. Oklahoma City will be without its leading rebounder and leader in blocked shots Darius Bazley and could be without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is nursing an injured shoulder and will miss Sunday’s first half of a back-to-back before Monday’s game with Minnesota. Minnesota has covered the spread in four of his last five overall and in four the last five when playing against a team from the Western Conference. Oklahoma City has failed to cover the spread in five of the last eight overall.

Prediction:
Minnesota Timberwolves -3

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Minnesota has the 27th worst defense in the NBA allowing an average of 117.2 points per game. The total has finished over in five of Minnesota’s last six games. Oklahoma City will be completing a back-to-back and could be one step slower on defense and will give up plenty of points on the defensive end of the court on Monday against the Timberwolves. Oklahoma City’s best rim protector Bazley is out injured as well which will give Minnesota players such as Towns easier access to the rim.

Prediction:
OVER