Milwaukee Bucks at Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
Tonight’s game in Minnesota would have been a marquee matchup of two of the league’s best big men in Karl-Anthony Towns and Giannis Antetokounmpo, but with Towns sitting out for the second game of his suspension, the game loses some of its luster. However, don’t look past the Timberwolves, who showed their ability to win even without their all-star center.
The Bucks are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 4-2 record. They are on a two-game winning streak and have had success on the road, something they hope to continue tonight. Minnesota has played very well to start the season. They are 4-1 on the season and second in the Western Conference, with their only loss coming at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers, where Towns and Joel Embiid were suspended.
Time: 8 PM ET
Arena: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Channel: FSWIS, FSNTH
Bucks: Pat Connaughton (P)
Wolves: Karl-Anthony Towns (Susp)
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
While Milwaukee has won their last two games, they’ve had some problems letting early leads slipping away, just to have to fight and crawl back to secure the victory. On Saturday against Toronto, they had a sizable lead in the first half only to give up 40 points to Toronto in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got to get better. It’s happened three times so far,” Giannis said. “We’ve got to be in the moment; we cannot stop playing, we cannot relax. People are coming after us; nothing’s going to be given to us. It doesn’t matter if we made the Eastern Conference finals last year and we won 60 games — nobody’s going to give us 60 games.”
Giannis carried the Bucks to the win, and they limited Toronto to 15 fourth-quarter points. Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists in the win, with Eric Bledsoe chipping in 14 points and nine assists. New Buck Wesley Matthews seemed to do well with his new team early on, but he has struggled since. He’s averaging under eight points per game, while his predecessor, Malcolm Brogdon, has looked great with the Pacers.
Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup
In their first game without Towns, Minnesota still proved to be a tough task for the Washington Wizards. The other Timberwolves role players stepped up when their team needed it most. One such player was Andrew Wiggins, who has fought bouts of inconsistency over his career. He finished the game with 21 points and six assists in just 26 minutes.
“We knew we were missing KAT,” Wiggins said. “KAT’s not somebody you can replace, so everyone had to step up, and that’s what everyone did. “You’ve just got to remember, we play a certain way. You don’t want to get out of character.”
The Timberwolves got out to big starts in each half, scoring 42 points in the first and 36 in the third in the 131-109 win.
Gorgui Dieng, who got the start for Towns despite just having played a handful of minutes all season, had 18 points and eight rebounds in the game, and Robert Covington added 20 points.
Key Player Matchups
Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Robert Covington
Robert Covington is one of the better perimeter defenders in the league, and as he showed on Saturday, he’s certainly capable of getting things done on offense as well. But both will be put to the test tonight against Giannis. The long-limbed Giannis is able to stay with his opponent on the perimeter and has the size to defend inside.
Khris Middleton vs. Andrew Wiggins
Middleton struggled in his last game out, and the Bucks will really need him to be a bigger part of the offense and take his role as Giannis’ sidekick. Wiggins will look to build on his recent success, but Middleton never makes it easy for anyone to get going on offense.
Giannis has the second-highest fantasy projection on FanDuel for tonight. He is available for $11.3k and is expected to finish with 57.11 points. If Towns was playing, he’d be the easy stud pick for the Wolves. The pick instead is also a player that could be considered a value play as well at a $6.7k salary. That would be forward Andrew Wiggins, who is projected for 31.42 points.
Khris Middleton is the value pick for the Bucks. His $6.8k salary will net you 33.33 fantasy points.
Bet on Matchup
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