Pacers at Timberwolves

Focused on Rebounding, Timberwolves

February 16, 2021 - Nate Bjorkgren and Myles Turner discuss the need for the team to improve its rebounding and facing Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Pregame 210217

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Focused on Rebounding, Timberwolves

February 16, 2021 - Nate Bjorkgren and Myles Turner discuss the need for the team to improve its rebounding and facing Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Feb 16, 2021  |  01:50

Game Recap: Bulls 120, Pacers 112

The Bulls defeated the Pacers, 120-112, in overtime. Zach LaVine recorded 30 points, nine rebounds and three assists for the Bulls, while Coby White added 19 points, seven rebounds and eight assists i
Feb 15, 2021  |  00:01

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – Feb. 15, 2021

Feb. 15, 2021 – Nate Bjorkgren, T.J. McConnell, and Malcolm Brogdon speak with the media following Indiana’s 112-120 loss to the Chicago Bulls at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Feb 15, 2021  |  01:27

Game Preview: Pacers at Timberwolves

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 at 8:00 PM ET at Target Center

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

After an overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday night, the Pacers (14-14) hope to rebound against the Minnesota Timberwolves (7-21) on Wednesday inside Target Center.

The Timberwolves currently hold the NBA's worst record. After picking up a 116-112 win over the Toronto Raptors, they fell to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night before hosting Pacers on the second night of a back-to-back.

Roster-wise, the Timberwolves seem unworthy of their record. Names such as Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell, and Anthony Edwards, the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, jump off the list. However, for multiple reasons, things just aren't falling into place.

Towns is averaging a double-double, recording 20.8 points and 10.6 rebounds. But he's only played in eight games for the Timberwolves this season. After dealing with a wrist injury early, he then tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to the sidelines. Last week was the first time he has appeared in three consecutive games for Minnesota this season. He will be available for Wednesday's bout.

Russell (19.3 points, 5.1 assists per game) is having a similar issue with injuries. The star point guard is currently dealing with soreness in his left leg. He has missed Minnesota's last three contests.

Then, there's Edwards. Edwards is averaging 14.8 points in a starting role — a decent stat for a rookie hoping to become the next NBA star. However, he's shooting just 39.1 percent from the field, and 32.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Though capable of doing so, Minnesota has failed to piece together a successful string of games. The constant rotation of available players has hindered the club's stats on both sides of the ball. The Timberwolves are currently ranked 27th in offensive rating (106.0 points per 100 possessions) and 23rd in defensive rating (112.9 points allowed per 100 possessions). While winning is always a challenge in the NBA, this appears to be a very winnable situation for the Blue & Gold as they are looking to improve upon their .500 record this year.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - T.J. McConnell, SF - Justin Holiday, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Timberwolves: PG - Ricky Rubio, SG - Malik Beasley, SF - Anthony Edwards, PF - Jarred Vanderbilt, C - Karl-Anthony Towns

Injury Report

Pacers: Doug McDermott - questionable (sore right knee), Brian Bowen II - out (G League two-way contract), Jalen Lecque - out (G League assignment), Caris LeVert - out (medical condition), Cassius Stanley - out (G League two-way contract), T.J. Warren - out (left foot stress fracture)

Timberwolves: Jarrett Culver - out (left ankle sprain), D'Angelo Russell - out (left leg soreness)

Last Meeting

Jan. 17, 2020: Indiana took home an 116-114 lead in nail-biting fashion to sweep the series against Timberwolves for the 2019-20 NBA season. After getting the ball picked from his pocket on Indiana's previous possession, Malcolm Brogdon responded with a floater from the right side with 18.6 seconds remaining to provide the difference in the thriller.

Indiana entered the final frame with a six-point advantage. However, the Timberwolves outscored the Pacers 21-13 over the final 10:11 of the game. But it all came down to a wild few seconds. With 1:16 remaining and the Timberwolves inbounding the ball, Karl-Anthony Towns appeared to sink a 3-pointer from the left wing while falling. He had hoped for a four-point opportunity. But, it was determined he stepped out of bounds before rising to shoot.

Then, as Brogdon dribbled into the lane, he spun back out to reset. Shabazz Napier picked his pocket, but Jeremy Lamb then blocked Napier's pass attempt in the paint. After Napier retrieved it, he found Covington in the corner for another three. But he too stepped out of bounds. Then, Brogdon went to work.

Collecting the ball at the top of the key, he found space to the right, rose and sank the seemingly easy jumper. The Pacers defense then closed out the game on the other end.

Five Pacers players finished in double figures, including a game-high 28 from T.J. Warren. Lamb added 18, while Aaron Holiday and Doug McDermott provided 13 apiece off the bench. Brogdon finished his clutch night with 12 points and 10 assists.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana has won three straight games in the series. Minnesota has not beaten the Pacers since Oct. 22, 2018.
  • The Pacers lead the all-time season series, 39-21.
  • Four out of the last five games between Indiana and Minnesota have been decided by 10 points or fewer.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all upcoming Pacers home games from January 24 through March 4 are now on sale. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (studio host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)





by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

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