Tonight the San Antonio Spurs (5-5) square off against the Minnesota Timberwolves (6-4) in what is a must win for both. I know, it’s early in the season, but in the Western Conference every game counts. The Spurs are 1 game behind the Timberwolves and a win would knock the Wolves out of the top 8, and put the Spurs in their spot. With that being said, so far, this is the biggest game of the regular season for both.
Historically, the Timberwolves have not fared well against the Spurs. In their 119 regular season meetings, the Spurs have won 75% of those games, and last year wasn’t any different. In their 4 meetings, the Spurs won all but one, staying true to that 75% win percentage.
The Spurs are coming off of a disappointing loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the same team that beat the Wolves only a week ago, and will be looking to rebound tonight in Minnesota.
The Timberwolves are missing Jeff Teague and Shabazz Napier for their fifth consecutive game, which has offered plenty of challenges to the team, and will make it difficult to win against the Spurs tonight. They’ve gone 2-2 without their starting and reserve point guard.
The key to a victory will be a good game from Karl Anthony-Town, who struggled against Greg Popovich’s defense last year averaging only 15 points on 40% shooting, and 8 rebounds in their four meetings. He will have to find a way to get himself going as they will need at least 25 and 12 from him in order to win this game.
Another great game from Andrew Wiggins would make the victory a sure thing.
He’s averaged 30.1 points in his last 6 games and another 25-30 wouldn’t hurt in the slightest.
The Spurs bench outscores the Timberwolves 45.1-37.4 but any advantage their bench holds can be offset by the Timberwolves dynamic duo who is averaging a combined 51 ppg, while the Spurs duo, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar Derozan, are only averaging 36 ppg. If the Wiggins and Towns can outscore those two the Timberwolves have a very good shot at winning this game.