The Los Angeles Lakers (11-20) will be at home in Staples Center when they challenge the Minnesota Timberwolves (20-13). Minnesota opened as a 4-point favorite, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 216 points. Action begins at 10:30 p.m. ET on Monday, December 25, 2017.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers Free Preview
The Timberwolves were victorious over the Phoenix Suns in their last game, 115-106. Jimmy Butler was the games high scorer with 32 points on 10-for-19 shooting. Minnesota dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a superb free throw rate of 0.298 (above their season average of 0.226) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 32.5 (above their season average of 25.1). For those same stats, Phoenix was 0.174 and 20.9, respectively.
In the Lakers last game, they were beaten by the Portland Trail Blazers, 95-92. With 10 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, Los Angeles Lonzo Ball played well. Portland had a turnover percentage of 9.8 (better than their season average of 12.9). Los Angeles, on the other hand, had a better free throw rate (0.141 vs. 0.074).
This game should be a battle of conflicting tempos. Los Angeles prefers a fast-paced style of play (first in possessions per game), while Minnesota is slower-paced (21st in possessions per game).
Of Minnesota’s 33 games, 18 have finished over the O/U total, while 16 of Los Angeles 31 games have finished over the projected point total. The Timberwolves have the better straight up (SU) record (20-13 vs. 11-20), but the Lakers hold the significant advantage against the spread (ATS) (16-15 vs. 14-17-2).
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Timberwolves, it’s been Butler, who has averaged 26.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.0 steals, while the Lakers have received solid contributions from Kyle Kuzma (25.8 points and 8.0 rebounds).
This is the first time these teams will meet this year, after splitting four games last season. The Lakers won the last matchup 110-109. The Lakers 26.7 offensive rebounding percentage was their largest advantage over the Timberwolves, who had a rate of 22.2.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Lakers, ATS Winner – Lakers, O/U – Over
- The Timberwolves rank sixth in rebounds allowed per game (41.2) while the Lakers rank 29th (46.1).
- Minnesota ranks first in steals allowed per game (6.5) while Los Angeles ranks 21st (8.2).
- Minnesota averages 18.6 points off turnovers per game, which ranks fifth in the league. Los Angeles ranks 27th in points off turnovers allowed per game (19.1).
- Los Angeles ranks 20th in three pointers attempted per game (27.0) while Minnesota ranks 28th (22.6).
- Minnesota is 9-6-1 ATS on the road with 10 overs and 6 unders.
- At home, Los Angeles is 8-7 ATS with 8 overs and 7 unders.
- In games where they hold opponents below 100 points, Los Angeles is 5-3 and Minnesota is 9-2.
- When scoring more than 100 points, the Timberwolves are 18-8 and the Lakers are 11-12.
- The Lakers rank third in blocks per game (5.6) while the Timberwolves rank 24th (3.9).
- Minnesota averages 14.5 second chance points per game, which ranks fourth in the league. Los Angeles ranks 28th in second chance points allowed per game (13.9).
- The Timberwolves average 47.6 points in the paint per game, which ranks sixth in the NBA. The Lakers rank 29th in points allowed in the paint per game (49.6).
- The Lakers average 23.2 assists per game, which ranks eighth in the league. The Timberwolves rank 26th in assists allowed per game (24.5).
- Los Angeles averages 16.0 fast break points per game, which ranks second in the league. Minnesota ranks 25th in fast break points allowed per game (13.2).
- Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Minnesota is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Lakers average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 3.0, up from 2.8 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Timberwolves have scored an average of 112.0 points per game (4.0 above their season average) and allowed an average of 104.2 points per game (2.1 below their season average).