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Game Preview: Phoenix Suns battle hungry Timberwolves team

Minnesota is fighting for the 6 seed and will be ready for a fight.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Timberwolves David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (58-14) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (42-31)

When: 5:00 p.m. AZ Time **EARLY START**

Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Watch: Bally Sports Arizona

Listen: 98.7 FM

DraftKings Line: Suns -125, -1.5, O/U 234.5


The 2022 Pacific Division champion Phoenix Suns have 10 games left on their schedule, and their next opponent is expected to put up a battle. The Timberwolves have won nine of their last eleven games after a 2-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Combine that with the fact that they are vying for the sixth seed (and trying to avoid the play-in game) with the Denver Nuggets, and you can bet this club will be focused.

Karl Anthony-Towns, who averages 24.9 points per game, leads the Timberwolves in scoring. He attempts five three-pointers a game and makes 41.1% of them, which ranks him 15th in the league but first among NBA centers. Since the All-Star break, the three-time All-Star has averaged 26.6 points and 10.4 rebounds, including a 60-point performance against the Spurs.

Starting Lineups

Uniform Tracker

Out/Injured

Phoenix:

  • Dario Saric (knee) is OUT
  • Frank Kaminsky (knee soreness) is OUT
  • Chris Paul (thumb) is OUT
  • Cameron Johnson (thigh contusion) is OUT

Minnesota:

  • Jaden McDaniels (leg) is OUT

What to Watch For

The Wolves will be hungry, while the Suns will be short-handed. As the game begins, it is the main plotline. That and who will actually play for the Suns.

Following Jae Crowder’s ankle injury in the win over the Sacramento Kings, Torrey Craig could get another start. Jae Crowder was not listed on the injury report Tuesday, but that does not guarantee a start.

Patrick Beverley will be a popular topic on Twitter during the game, and rightly so. His actions in the Western Conference Finals last season earned him the title of Phoenix’s Public Enemy Number One. We should keep an eye on the Wolves’ other guard, Anthony Edwards. He is a brilliant young kid who has no fear of anyone.

Minnesota’s bench averages 37.7 points to the Suns’ 35.6, and it will be challenged with so many players out for Phoenix. The Wolves will be hungry, while the Suns will be short-handed. As the game begins, it is the main plotline.

Fun Fact

Former Kentucky Wildcat teammates Karl Anthony-Towns and Devin Booker have played against each other 18 times in their NBA careers. Booker has won 10 of those meetings.

Keys to a Suns Win

In this one, keep an eye on the three-point line.

The Timberwolves try 45.6% of their field goals from beyond the arc, so anticipate plenty of long-range tries in this one. Minnesota leads the league in both made (14.8) and attempted three-pointers (41.6). When it comes to percentage, they are in the middle of the pack, making 35.6%. That ranks 12th in the league.

The Suns, on the other hand, are great at protecting the perimeter. The opponents shoot 33.8% from three-point range, which is the lowest in the league. They give up the 5th-least makes from deep (11.6) in the NBA as well.

Whoever gets hot from three wins this one.

Prediction

It feels like a Suns loss is coming. But Phoenix doesn’t care about those feelings.

Suns 117, Wolves 115

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