T-Wolves vs. Rockets Game 2 Prediction
The Minnesota Timberwolves blew an opportunity to take a one-game lead against the Houston Rockets in the conference quarterfinals on Sunday night. Can they at least earn a split on Wednesday night in Game 2 against the Rockets?
521 Minnesota Timberwolves at 522 Houston Rockets
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
TV: TNT, 9:30 p.m. ET
Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers from online sportsbook YouWager, the Rockets are 10.5-point home favorites to beat the Timberwolves while the over/under sits at 214.5 points. As of this writing, 59% of the betting tickets wagered at online sportsbooks are on the Rockets to cover the spread. Meanwhile, 58% of the betting tickets are on the over.
Thibodeau wants Karl-Anthony Towns more involved in Game 2
Jeff Teague said the Wolves "definitely have to get [Karl-Anthony Towns] a couple more touches" during Game 2 on Wednesday. Towns only scored eight points on nine shot attempts in Game 1, and coach Tom Thibodeau said afterward that Towns needed to be more "active" to exploit the Rockets' smaller lineups. "You run the floor," Thibodeau said. "Kick the ball out, re-post, keep moving around, search it out, get to the offensive board. You've got to sprint around ... You also have to get to positions in which it's difficult for them to double-team you." One way or another, KAT is going to see his usage increase after a disappointing playoff debut.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler didn't score in the first quarter on Sunday, finishing a tough loss in Houston with 13 points on 4-of-11 FGs and 3-of-3 FTs, five boards, three assists and two steals in 36 minutes.
Rockets' Anderson practiced Tuesday and hopeful to play in Game 2
Ryan Anderson (ankle) practiced on Tuesday and his hopeful he will be able to play in Game 2 on Wednesday.
Anderson missed the final four games of the regular season and Game 1 of the playoffs after spraining his left ankle back on April 3rd. Anderson was in uniform Sunday's contest, but coach Mike D'Antoni said he was not quite ready to return to game action. We should have another update on Anderson's status after Wednesday morning's shootaround. With Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder) sidelined, Anderson could provide some valuable minutes off the bench.
Meanwhile, James Harden was phenomenal during Sunday's 104-101 victory vs. the Wolves, scoring 44 points (15-of-26 FGs, 7-of-9 FTs) with seven 3-pointers, eight assists, four rebounds and two steals.
The Timberwolves are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games versus the Rockets but are 6-2 against the number in their last eight games in Houston. The road team is also 5-2 against the number in the last seven meetings between these two teams.
The favorite is 4-1 against the spread in the last five meetings between these two teams.
The Rockets are a disaster at the betting window right now. They're 0-7 against the spread in their last seven Western Conference games, are winless at 0-5 against the number in their last five games overall, and are 1-4 at the betting window in their last five home games. On the other side, the Timberwolves are 5-0 against the spread in their last five games overall and have cashed in all five of their last five games versus Western Conference foes.
NBA Game 2 Prediction: Minnesota Timberwolves +10.5