NBA Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves @ Orlando Magic Preview
Minnesota has been a fun team to watch grow this year. There is clearly a slew of talent on this team, led by the force in the middle, Kevin Love. Love is quietly evolving into one of the best players in the league, and he is a ridiculous double-double machine. He is averaging 25.6 points and 13.9 boards per game, and he is going to have the ability to take the Orlando big men away from the basket as well at times. He is coming off of a monstrous game with 32 points and 21 rebounds against the New York Knicks over the weekend. Michael Beasley is just starting to regain some of his form, while Luke Ridnour and Ricky Rubio make up a fun backcourt to watch develop. Derrick Williams, Jose Barea, Wesley Johnson, and Anthony Randolph are all stars for the future for this organization to boot, and it is clear that, for the first time really since Kevin Garnett was traded, that the Timberwolves are well on their way to becoming a competitive team once again.
Thanks to the fact that the rest of the Eastern Conference is absolute garbage, the Magic are still well on their way to the playoffs this year, even if they do end up trading Dwight Howard in the weeks to come. A convincing win over the Miami Heat at home last week was the best victory for this team this season, and that is a ‘W’ that could be built upon. The problem though, is that this Orlando squad just looks old and inconsistent when you take Howard’s 20.6 points and 15.5 rebounds per game out of the equation. Ryan Anderson’s numbers have been dropping steadily since the start of the season, while Jason Richardson has the ability to score 31 like he did over the weekend, or he can shoot 2-of-14 from the field. Hedo Turkoglu is slow off the dribble at the tail end of his career. Jameer Nelson’s 8.8 points per game is atrocious by his standards. And to mae matters worse, Glen Davis has already been in a spat with Head Coach Stan Van Gundy and was suspended last week for it.
The Final Word: Matters aren’t pretty for the Magic right now. Again, we must admit that the talent is there for this team to beat anyone in the league, just as we saw against Miami. We have also seen it lose games like this one as well, and the hungry Timberwolves are going to love to have this chance to come into the Amway Center and steal a victory on the road to inch closer to the .500 mark.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Orlando Magic Free Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves +5.5