Minnesota Timberwolves vs Detroit Pistons: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Minnesota Timberwolves at Detroit Pistons

Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI

When: Wednesday, March 6th at 7:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports Detroit and Fox Sports North | 97.1 FM The Ticket and 830 WCCO

Minnesota Timberwolves (Away)

Head Coach: Ryan Saunders {All-Time 10-13 | MIN}

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been on the wrong end of a string of difficult results as of late. With a record of 29-34, the Minnesota Timberwolves are ranked eleventh in the Western Conference and are 5.5 games out of the last playoff spot in the West.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are on a three-game losing streak, posting negative results against the Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, and Washington Wizards. After a short home-stand against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Timberwolves will be right back on the road to take on these Detroit Pistons.

The Detroit Pistons team that the Timberwolves will be taking on are on a roll. Now in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Pistons are on a mission to maintain their position in the top eight. The Timberwolves have been struggling to stop the ball as of late. The dynamic playmaking of Reggie Jackson and Blake Griffin will have to be limited if the Timberwolves hope to compete for the last playoff spot in the West.

Detroit Pistons (Home)

Head Coach: Dwane Casey {All-Time 404-338 | MIN, TOR, DET}

A recent positive run of form for the Detroit Pistons has found them in the top eight of the Eastern Conference. Once on the outside looking in, the Detroit Pistons’ .500 record has them sixth in the East with a solid 2.5 game lead over the cut-off point in the East.

The Detroit Pistons have been impressive in their recent matches. Over their last ten games, the Detroit Pistons have posted a record of 8-2 with impressive wins over the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers. While the quality of the Pistons opponents overall hasn’t been impressive, individual performances against top teams show that they are serious about making the playoffs.

The Pistons will have to be able to deal with the inside-outside attack of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns can attack from anywhere on the court and on their day Derrick Rose and Andrew Wiggins can fill up the scoreboard in a hurry. The Pistons will have to be disciplined defensively if they want to win this matchup.

What’s At Stake?

The all-time series between the Detroit Pistons and the Minnesota Timberwolves have been close through-and-through. In 58 games, the Detroit Pistons lead the Minnesota Timberwolves 30-28 all-time.

A win for the Detroit Pistons would give them a full game lead over the Brooklyn Nets who are seventh in the East.

A win for the Minnesota Timberwolves would bring them within a half-game of the Los Angeles Lakers who are tenth in the Western Conference.

Questions to answer

Where is the Minnesota defence?

How did the Pistons come back to win against the Raptors?

We are going to compare the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Detroit Pistons in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Wolves Lost Three Straight

The Timberwolves ended their Eastern Conference road trip with an unfortunate 0-3 record. At the center of their problems is their lackluster defense. Which, against the Wizards, allowed forty points in the first quarter.

The absence of Robert Covington is no longer an excuse. The Timberwolves are talented and athletic across the board, but no player other than rookie Josh Okogie seems completely engaged on the defensive end.

Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague have been particularly awful stopping the ball as of late. Between falling asleep on cuts and not rotating out to shooters, the Wolves’ primary wing defenders have been like turnstiles at the point of attack. Karl-Anthony Towns has done his best to carry his team on the offensive side, but if the squad as a whole can’t buy in defensively it’ll be another year in the lottery.

The Pistons Showed Their Resolve

Sure, the Toronto Raptors were missing their star Kawhi Leonard in this match. But going into the game the Detroit Pistons certainly weren’t favored over the Toronto Raptors by most oddsmakers. In fact, the Detroit-Toronto home game is incredibly tough on the Pistons. So near the Canadian border and against the NBA’s most present traveling fans, it was almost a home game for the Raptors in Detroit.

Despite busses of Toronto Raptors fans crossing the border to fill Little Caesars Arena, the Detroit Pistons were able to slow the Toronto Raptors in the second half. Despite a 35-point night from Kyle Lowry, the Pistons were able to claw back from an 11-point deficit to force overtime.

It all starts with the defensive end. Toronto, not the greatest shooting team, was forced to fire from range as the Pistons packed the paint and allowed nothing inside. Come overtime, the Pistons finished the game on a ten-point run after being down five in overtime. The Pistons showed that they have the tenacity on both ends to keep up with the best in the league, the Raptors felt that energy and took home an L.

Minnesota Timberwolves Roster Notes

F Robert Covington – 2 Mar 2019 – Out (Ankle) – Covington has been ruled OUT for Sunday’s (Mar 3) game.

F Luol Deng – 3 Mar 2019 – Out (Sore Left Achilles) – Deng is listed as OUT for Sunday’s (Mar 3) game.

Detroit Pistons Roster Notes

The Detroit Pistons have no roster changes of note.

Head-to-Head: Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) vs Andre Drummond (DET)

Karl-Anthony Towns

Center | 7-0, 248lb (213cm, 112kg) | Kentucky | Exp. 3 Years

23.9 PPG | 3.3 APG | 12.3 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 1.7 BPG | 2.9 TOV | .521 FG% | .395 3P%

Andre Drummond

Center | 6-11, 279lb (211cm, 126kg) | Conneticut | Exp. 6 Years

17.4 PPG | 1.2 APG | 15.1 RPG | 1.7 SPG | 1.7 BPG | 2.2 TOV | .529 FG% | .114 3P%

It will be a battle of the big men when Karl-Anthony Towns and Andre Drummond come to blows on the basketball court. Drummond, an old-school defensive center, and Towns a modern offensive big, will be set to show whose skill set will beat out the other.

Karl-Anthony Towns has been one of a few bright spots for the Timberwolves so far this season. In an incredibly difficult position to make the playoffs, Towns has been putting on incredible performances one after another. His past four games have been MVP-worthy – 28 & 10, 42 & 17, 37 & 18, and 34 & 21 are his points and rebounding totals in each match. Unfortunately, despite Towns’ efforts, his team is still on a three-game losing streak. Don’t expect his herculean efforts to stop though.

In his last game, Drummond was fantastic. Not only did post 15 points and 17 rebounds, but he held All-Star Marc Gasol to 13 & 8 on 2-10 shooting for the evening. Towns is a stretch big in the same mold as Gasol but with much better athleticism. If Gasol was the warmup, Towns is the exam that Drummond needs to ace to be considered one of the best defenders in the league. We’ll see if he’s up to it.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Detroit Pistons Predictions and Odds

The oddsmakers have the Detroit Pistons favored over the Minnesota Timberwolves by 5.5, with an over/under of 110.