The ailing Dallas Mavericks (26-21) encounter the Minnesota Timberwolves (33-14) this Wednesday (1/31/24). Get Mavericks vs. Timberwolves moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction
Before any analysis can take place, the staggering amount of injuries must be addressed. Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and Dereck Lively II will all be sidelined, while Dante Exum and Derrick Jones Jr. are expected to be out too. In other words, Dallas will lack five of their top six scorers, their top three playmakers, and their defensive anchor. On the other hand, Minnesota is completely healthy outside of Mike Conley, who holds a questionable tag.
Jaden Hardy and Tim Hardaway Jr. are essentially Dallas’ only active players with semi-consistent self-creation chops. Besides those two, it’s catch-and-shoot role players and traditional roll men. That’s an extremely bleak offensive outlook because there is no versatility or juice in the slightest. It’s not like Hardy and Hardaway Jr. are above average pick-and-roll playmakers either. If both of them do not thrive, then it wouldn’t be shocking if Dallas barely cracks 90 points.
Minnesota has the tools to dominate too, as Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels can apply ferocious pressure and force turnovers. Should they bypass Minnesota’s perimeter line, then Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert lurks. Dwight Powell and Richaun Holmes do not have the outside shooting to pull him away, so Gobert can camp in the paint to prevent drivers, rollers, and backdoor cutters.
On the other end, how are the Mavericks stopping the Wolves? Karl-Anthony Towns can shoot over Grant Williams, Dwight Powell is too undersized to handle Rudy Gobert around the basket, and Dallas possesses no effective on-ball stopper to throw at Anthony Edwards. The absence of rim protection will be Dallas’ doom here.
Finally, Minnesota has a sizable bench advantage due to Dallas’ plethora of injuries. Naz Reid in particular is a mismatch against the second unit.
Overall, this top ranked Timberwolves defense should absolutely quench Dallas’ depleted offense. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s offense is inconsistent but faces a Mavericks squad without the size or individual defenders to hang. Look for this matchup to be a blowout.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction: Timberwolves -13.5
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Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Best Odds
Due to a slew of key injuries, the Wolves enter this contest favored by nearly 14 points. They are 11-8-2 against the spread at home, and Dallas is 13-8 against the spread on the road. For Dallas’ +750 moneyline to hold a positive expected value, they need to win this game at least 11 percent of the time.
Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup
Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup
Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Injuries
Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Dereck Lively II, Dante Exum, and Derrick Jones Jr. are all expected to miss the game, while Mike Conley is questionable for Minnesota. If Conley cannot suit up, then Nickeil Alexander-Walker will get the start once again.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Key Matchups
Dallas’ Defensive Rebounding
Powell remains a below average rebounder, so Gobert, Towns, and Reid controlling the glass is a massive concern. It’s unlikely that Dallas keeps up with Minnesota from a points per possession basis; therefore, losing the possession battle would come close to extinguishing hope. If Dallas can reduce second chance points and keep Minnesota from racking up offensive rebounds, then there is perhaps a light at the end of the cover tunnel. That’s a tall task though.
Jaden Hardy’s Scoring
Dallas desperately needs Hardy to find a rhythm and display his microwave scoring. He has flashed an intriguing skill set over his first two seasons in terms of creating space off the bounce and tough shot-making, but it hasn’t consistently translated yet. Across five starts this season, he has only averaged 11.2 points on a 35.9 field goal percentage and 27 three-point percentage (via StatMuse). Should Hardy struggle with efficiency, then Dallas’ offense will be mighty sluggish.