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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Preview

Another road game.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers (25-37) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (35-29)

The Portland Trail Blazers continue their road trip, and tonight they face the Minnesota Timberwolves. They will play the team twice in a row in Minneapolis. The Blazers suffered a thirty-point loss to the Phoenix Suns prior to moving on to Minny, and the Timberwolves are building off a dominant win over the Oklahoma Thunder.

Josh Hart is being held out of the game for load management.

Saturday, March 5th - 5:00 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: Root Sports NW
Blazers injuries: Damian Lillard (out), Nassir Little (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out), Eric Bledsoe (out), Didi Louzada (out), Joe Ingles (out), Justise Winslow (out), Josh Hart (out), Greg Brown III (out), Elijah Hughes (out)
Wolves injuries: McKinley Wright IV (out), Anthony Edwards (day-to-day)
SBN Affiliate: Canis Hoopus

What To Watch For

UPDATE: Greg Brown III will be out against the Timberwolves.

Bouncin’ Greg Brown. Earlier this week on the Church of Roy podcast, the discussion focused on silver linings down the stretch, and after that vicious dunk over Javale McGee in the Phoenix Suns game, Greg Brown III is definitely a silver lining — if he is available to play tonight.

Pace of game. As the young guys get more run, the pace of game may have an outsize impact in performance. Anfernee Simons has shown the ability to control the pace of the game, but it’s up to the other pieces — especially CJ Elleby and Greg Brown III — to step up when Simons pushes the pace.

Three-pointers. When the Blazers are sinking their shots from beyond the arc, they can get cooking. If Portland hits their shots, they may have a fighting chance against Minnesota. Watch for Anfernee Simons to get hot.

What Others Are Saying

Kyle Theige of Canis Hoopus had this to say about the Wolves’ present performance.

Minnesota’s current win percentage (.540) is the second best mark for this franchise since... wait for it... 2004-05 (as we all know, they finished the 2017-18 season with a .573 winning percentage). While the team has definitely benefitted this season from some good injury luck (in regards to opposing teams), there’s no doubt that this season has quickly evolved into one of the best seasons in Timberwolves franchise history (which is simultaneously pretty cool and also pretty sad).

At ClutchPoints, Kendall Capps examines the combination of Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.

A lot of that has to do with the play of All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns. He has been playing at an elite level for the TWolves for much of the season. Unlike previous seasons, Towns has a budding star playing alongside him in Anthony Edwards. The combination of those two, with the playmaking of D’Angelo Russell at the point has made this one of the better offenses in the NBA. Minnesota is averaging 113.6 points per game. That ranks fifth across the entire NBA behind only the Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz.