The Boston Celtics are set to be a part of the upcoming play-in tournament, and head coach Brad Stevens will want his team to go into the crunch game on the back of positive results. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves are headed to the lottery as a result of going 22-48 this season.
Fixture: Boston Celtics vs. Minnesota Timberwolves | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Saturday, May 15th; 2:00 PM ET (Saturday, 15th May; 11:30 PM IST)
Venue: Target Center, Minnesota
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics offense has been sub-par this season, averaging just 112.8 points per game. Their defense has not been great either, leaking 111.4 points per contest.
The Celtics’ saving grace has been their offensive rebounding, a category in which they rank third in the league. However, their defensive rebounding has been poor, as they have managed to average just 33 defensive boards.
The Boston Celtics’ recent form is worrying, as they have lost their last four games. Their most recent loss came against the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers, indicating a change in strategy is needed from Brad Stevens.
Key Player – Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum (left ankle impingement) is listed as probable, but fans can expect him to suit up for today’s clash. Tatum has easily been the Boston Celtics’ best player in the 2020-21 NBA campaign, putting up 26.4 points, 4 assists and 7 rebounds. He has done so on 46% shooting from the field and 38% from downtown, while racking up 1.2 steals per game.
The Boston Celtics will be desperate to get out of the losing slump, and a strong performance from Tatum could ensure that today.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
Point Guard – Tremont Waters | Shooting Guard – Evan Fournier | Small Forward – Aaron Nesmith | Power Forward – Jayson Tatum | Center – Tristan Thompson
Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
Following consecutive wins against the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons, the Minnesota Timberwolves succumbed to a 103-114 loss to Western Conference heavyweights the Denver Nuggets in their last game.
The Timberwolves defense has been in shambles throughout the season, allowing a whopping 117.5 points away per contest. Their efficiency from the field has been poor as well, as they are the 5th worst shooting team in the league this year (45%).
Rookie guard Anthony Edwards’ form has been one of the silver linings for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is averaging 19 points and 4 rebounds, and is a contender for the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Key Player – Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns has been in terrific form for the Minnesota Timberwolves this year, as the dominant big has put up 24.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists on close to 40% shooting from deep. Towns has also done his due diligence on the defensive end, racking up 1.2 blocks and 0.8 steals.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to end the season on a strong note, and Towns would like both to help his team do that and pad his stats against a vulnerable Boston Celtics side.
Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Lineup
Point Guard – Ricky Rubio | Shooting Guard – D’Angelo Russell | Small Forward – Anthony Edwards | Power Forward – Jarred Vanderbilt | Center – Karl-Anthony Towns
Celtics vs Timberwolves Prediction
The Minnesota Timberwolves have looked a different team since D’Angelo Russell’s return, and it is safe to say that they will fancy their chances against a Boston Celtics team missing some key players.
The Wolves should earn a comfortable win at their home arena barring a superhuman effort from Jayson Tatum.
Where to Watch Celtics vs Timberwolves
Local coverage of the Boston Celtics vs Minnesota Timberwolves game will be available on Bally Sports North and NBCS Boston. The match can also be streamed live on the NBA League Pass.