Minnesota Timberwolves vs Orlando Magic

Recently named NBA All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns leads his playoff-hungry Minnesota Timberwolves against high-flyer Aaron Gordon and the Orlando Magic on Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 PM EST at Amway Center in Orlando, FL. Broadcast is available on Fox Sports North and Fox Sports Florida; radio is available via 830 WCCO and Accion 810 AM.

How to Watch

Where: Amway Center in Orlando, FL

When: Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Florida | 830 WCCO, Accion 810 AM.

Minnesota Timberwolves (Away)

Head Coach: Ryan Saunders interim {All-Time 6-6 | MIN}

The Minnesota Timberwolves are attempting to put on a mid-season run to get back into the playoff race. With a record of 25-27 the Timberwolves are eleventh in the Western Conference but are just two games back from overtaking the Los Angeles Lakers for tenth.

Over the past ten games the Timberwolves have shown a bit of inconsistency. They are 5-5 in their last ten with a point differential of +0.1. With three of their next five games on the road going into the All-Star break, Minnesota will want some consistency before their extended time off.

When the Timberwolves take on the Magic they will need to look out for the Magic's plethora of athletic threats on the wing. Sporting the likes of Mo Bamba, Jonathan, Isaac, and Aaron Gordon, the Timberwolves will have a difficult time penetrating the Magic's length. Look for KAT to take more post isolations to limit perimeter turnovers.

Orlando Magic (Home)

Head Coach: Steve Clifford {All-Time 218-245 | CHA, ORL}

The Orlando Magic have struggled so far this season, mostly due to their ineptitude shooting the ball. With a record of 22-31 the Orlando Magic are tied for tenth in the East with the Washington Wizards.

Over their last ten matches the Orlando Magic have been dreadful. Not only have they posted a record of 3-7 in that span of time, but they had separate three-game and four-game losing streaks.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are a difficult team for the Magic to matchup with. They boast similar athleticism at the wing and have one of the leagues best inside in Karl-Anthony Towns. Expect the Magic to go deep into their bench to neutralize the Wolves inside threat.

What's At Stake?

The Orlando Magic and the Minnesota Timberwolves have a relatively young inter-conference rivalry. In the all-time series the Orlando Magic lead the Minnesota Timberwolves 36-22.

A win for the Minnesota Timberwolves would put them within two games of matching the Los Angeles Lakers in tenth place..

A win for the Orlando Magic would place them above the Washington Wizards in the Eastern, but still leave them tenth in the Eastern Conference.

Questions to answer

How long can Luol Deng cover for the Wolves?

Can the Magic overcome their lack of shooting?

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

Deng Has Been A Key Contributor for Ryan Saunders

With the recent downward turn for Andrew Wiggins, Luol Deng has been inserted into the lineup for the Minnesota Timberwolves. First playing a bit role for the Wolves, he has logged more than eleven minutes in his last six contests and more than nineteen minutes in his last four.

Head coach Ryan Saunders praised Luol Deng for his professionalism in the wake of the minutes shake-up. Saunders was quoted saying:

“I hope everybody realizes how great of a professional he is. For him to stay ready throughout the year, he comes in late at night, he’s there for all hours. And for him to stay ready and come in and play meaningful minutes like that and get five quick points, you just can’t say enough about him.”

Deng has not only provided the Wolves with a veteran leader on the court, but he has maintained defensive consistency while hitting at least one three-pointer in each of his games since January 20th. He's not a candidate to breakout for 50-points, but Deng is a valuable role player that opens up the game for the rest of the squad.

The Magic Are 22nd in 3-Point Shooting

The Magic are right in the middle of the pack when it comes to three-point shooting. They are seventeenth in the league when it comes to three-pointers made and fifteenth in the league in attempts. Unfortunately for the Magic they are near the bottom third in the league in conversion percentage from three at 34.9%.

The Magic only have three players that convert from three at higher than the league average. Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross, and DJ Augustin all shoot over 37% from three and luckily have the highest volume from three for the team.

The Timberwolves will be privy to the Magic's gameplan to keep them on the perimeter. The Wolves are not a strong interior defending team, so attacking the rim may be a path to victory for the Magic. If the Magic can find success in the paint it would subsequently open up their looks from the perimeter. Their ability to convert will be the true test of whether or not they can finish off the game.

Minnesota Timberwolves Roster Notes

F Robert Covington - 15 Jan 2019 - Out (Ankle) - Covington said he does not have a timetable for a return to action, according to Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

G Tyus Jones - 1 Feb 2019 - Out (Left Ankle Sprain) - Jones is listed as OUT for Saturday's (Feb. 2) game against the Denver Nuggets.

G Derrick Rose - 4 Feb 2019 - Out (Ankle) - Rose has been ruled OUT for Tuesday's (Feb 5) game against the Grizzlies.

G Jeff Teague - 4 Feb 2019 - Day To Day (Left Foot Soreness) - Teague is listed as Doubtful for Tuesday's (Feb 5) game against the Grizzlies.

Orlando Magic Roster Notes

C Mohamed Bamba - 4 Feb 2019 - Out (Leg) - Bamba has been ruled OUT for Tuesday's (Feb 5) game.

C Timofey Mozgov - 4 Jan 2019 - Out (Knee) - The Magic announced that Mozgov had surgery on his right knee. There is no timetable for his return.

G Jonathon Simmons - 4 Feb 2019 - Day To Day (Abdominal Strain) - Simmons is listed as Questionable for Tuesday's (Feb 5) game.

Head-to-Head: Andrew Wiggins (MIN) vs Aaron Gordon (ORL)

Andrew Wiggins

Small Forward | 6-8, 194lb (203cm, 87kg) | Kansas | Exp. 4 Years

17.8 PPG | 2.3 APG | 4.6 RPG | 1.1 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 1.9 TOV | .396 FG% | .336 3P%

Aaron Gordon

Small Forward | 6-9, 220lb (206cm, 99kg) | Arizona | Exp. 4 Years

15.8 PPG | 3.4 APG | 7.5 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.9 TOV | .449 FG% | .349 3P%

It is a matchup up of two hyper-athletic wing players when Canadian Andrew Wiggins takes on Aaron Gordon on Thursday night. Both players boast a tremendous amount of potential but are yet to show the full extent of their abilities. Seeing as both teams are fighting for playoff position, this game is crucial for both squads.

It seems like Wiggins' 23.6 PPG third-year campaign was an age ago, despite it being just two seasons ago. Wiggins' efficiency and usage have taken a massive slide as of late. While many critics say it is about passiveness, his role in the offence has taken a backseat to Towns and Rose at times. Against the Magic Wiggins will be facing off against a number of athletic-defensive wings that are ready to shut down his game. He will need to work in tandem with Towns if he wants to produce on the offensive end.

Aaron Gordon came out of Arizona with a penchant for high-flying theatrics and the potential to be an athletic force in the NBA. Since his breakout in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Gordon has focused more on his offensive output to varying results. While his shot from range has improved each season, he still gets the majority of his points at the basket. Gordon will have to diversify his game if he hopes to tame the Timberwolves.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Orlando Magic Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Orlando Magic favoured over the Minnesota Timberwolves by 1.5, with an over/under of 109.

State by State Guides

Map of the United States of America

Find Your State

Popular Topics