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Timberwolves vs Nuggets Game 2 Predictions: Denver’s Defense Can Earn Them Another Win

Written by: Christian Jope
Published April 19, 2023
11 min read
  • The Nuggets dominated Game 1 to earn an 80-109 victory.
  • Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets posted 24-8-8 in Game 1.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns scored 11 points on just 33% shooting in Game 1.

Game 1 between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets wasn't a particularly competitive affair. Despite intriguing matchups across every position, the Nuggets dominated the Timberwolves on the defensive side of the ball. Minnesota has the odds against them as they try to level the series in their second consecutive game at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. It was the fifth time the home team was victorious in a matchup between these sides.

The Minnesota Timberwolves produced their lowest-scoring game of the season in Game 1 against the Denver Nuggets. The Timberwolves have been unable to contain the Nuggets through three meetings this season, and it looks like it could be better in Game 2. To get the best odds for Game 2 between the Timberwolves and Nuggets, look no further than DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Timberwolves vs Nuggets Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook

TeamSpreadMoneylineTotal
Minnesota Timberwolves+8.0 (-105)
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+280
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O 223.5 (-110)
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Denver Nuggets-8.0 (-115)
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-340
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U 223.5 (-110)
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Timberwolves vs Nuggets Game 2 Preview

What Happened in the Last Game?

Game 1 between the Timberwolves and Nuggets saw Denver dismantle Minnesota on the defensive side of the ball, producing the worst scoring night for the T-Wolves all season. Minnesota was unable to get rolling on either end of the court, despite being able to hold off MVP candidate Nikola Jokic in the scoring column. It wasn't a prolific scoring game for either team, but the Nuggets had the edge regarding efficiency.

The Minnesota Timberwolves shot an abysmal 37.0% from the field in Game 1, and an even worse 30.6% from three-point range. On the other end of the court, the Denver Nuggets could convert on 45.6% of their field goal attempts while converting on 16 three-pointers with 41.0% efficiency. Denver's willingness to push the pace against Minnesota's double-big defense helped their case, scoring 16 fast break points to the T-Wolves' 3.

Anthony Edwards struggled from the tip for Minnesota, eventually leading his team with 18 points, 5 assists, and 2 rebounds on 40.0% from the field and 25.0% from three-point range. Conversely, Denver guard Jamal Murray was brilliant on the night, posting 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on 40.9% shooting from the field and 40.0% from three while committing just 1 turnover on the night.

Key Stats from Game 1

The Denver Nuggets won the rebounding battle with the Minnesota Timberwolves, 54 to 38. Despite the Timberwolves' two big men patrolling the paint, Denver won the paint-scoring struggle 48 to 36. The Denver Nuggets also dominated the offensive glass, collecting 11 offensive boards to Minnesota's 3.

Minnesota big men Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert did work on the glass but could have been more impactful on the scoring end. They combined for just 19 points, 23 rebounds, and 2 blocks on 8 of 20 shooting from the field and 1 of 7 shooting from three-point range. On the other side of the court, Nikola Jokic had a modest but productive 13 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists on 50.0% shooting before fouling out of the game.

The Timberwolves may be missing their best perimeter defender in McDaniels, but their hustle remains. If there's something the Timberwolves can build off of, they can convert on turnovers. Minnesota was able to force the Nuggets into 11 turnovers, resulting in 17 points.

Timberwolves vs Nuggets Game Preview

Wednesday night will see the Minnesota Timberwolves face off against the Denver Nuggets for Game 2 of their Western Conference First Round series. As always, the Nuggets maintain one of the league's most decisive home court advantages, owning a 26-15-1 ATS record at home - second in the NBA. The Denver Nuggets are 34-7 at Ball Arena on the season.

The Minnesota Timberwolves struggled in Denver for Game 1, as they have all season long. The Timberwolves have a 21-21-0 ATS record on the road through 2022-23 while earning a 20-21 road record this season. Despite splitting the season series, the Timberwolves lost both games in Denver by an average of 19.0 points.

Game 2 will see the Timberwolves attempt to level the series with the Nuggets. Minnesota's big men need to command the paint against a Denver team that dominated them inside in Game 1. The Nuggets will want to maintain their excellent two-way play, especially with the opportunity to go up 2-0 in the series.

Minnesota Timberwolves Preview

Minnesota Timberwolves ATS Record: 42-43-0

If there's anything that the Minnesota Timberwolves are, it's resilient. They worked their way into the NBA Playoffs via the Play-In Tournament but faltered in Game 1 against the Denver Nuggets. The T-Wolves projected to struggle against the Nuggets, but the gap between them was apparent. To get back on track, Minnesota needs to find success on the offensive side of the ball.

In Game 1 against the Nuggets, the Timberwolves scored just 80 points on 37.0% from the field and 30.6% from three-point range. Minnesota only committed 11 turnovers on the night, but they were forced into poor shots and couldn't control the pace of play. Despite forcing 15.4 turnovers per game (5th in the NBA) through the regular season, they could only make Denver commit 10 turnovers on the night.

The Minnesota Timberwolves found success through the regular season by being particular about their shot selection, averaging 49.0% shooting from the field (3rd in the NBA) through 82 games. Scoring wasn't Minnesota's strength, but if they can improve their shot selection and creation, they'll be in an excellent position to return to Minnesota for back-to-back games.

Denver Nuggets Preview

Denver Nuggets ATS Record: 45-37-1

The Denver Nuggets earned themselves the top seed in the Western Conference through the regular season, and it showed in Game 1 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. After dominating the Timberwolves on their home court during their regular season series, Denver's home-court advantage only grew stronger as their NBA Playoffs First Round tipped off. With the opportunity to go up 2-0, expect Denver to come out of the gates aggressively.

In Game 1 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Denver Nuggets posted 109 points on 45.6% shooting from the field and 41.0% from three-point range. Surprisingly, the Nuggets could control the glass by outrebounding the Timberwolves 54-38. Contributions by their wing players were vital, as Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and Aaron Gordon combined for 24 rebounds on the night.

Considering the Nuggets allowed opponents to shoot 66.2% in the paint during the regular season, their ability to enforce their game plan at the rim was a nice change for head coach Mike Malone. When they enter Game 2, the Nuggets will attempt to maintain their hot three-point shooting - as they converted on 16 of their 39 three-point attempts in Game 1.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Denver Nuggets Game Pick

  • Spread: Denver Nuggets -8.0 (-115)
  • Total: Under 223.5 (-110)
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How to Watch Timberwolves vs Nuggets

  • Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
  • Game Time & Date: 10:00 PM EST, Wednesday, April 19, 2023
  • TV: TNT
  • Streaming: YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling, etc.
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AUTHOR

Christian Jope

1372 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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