ROCKETS VS TIMBERWOLVES, OCT. 20
The rest of the NBA kicks off their season tonight, and in this matchup we have one team that has started to ascend from their rebuild and another team that is just beginning theirs. Houston comes into this season with a starting five that seems like it is a mix of cast-offs from other teams thrown together to assemble an NBA roster. While you look at the Timberwolves, a team with a gifted big man and an ascending former number one overall pick, expectations are not high for either of these teams. Minnesota has a lot more to prove out of the gate here to show that their organization is heading in the right direction, and that starts with a convincing win over a team that has very little expectations in the Rockets.
It really is sad to see a team that had potential and was possibly just one good piece away from contending be reduced down to basically a place where people refuse to play. Like in the case of John Wall, who was traded to Houston last season, saw little action and now basically is refusing to play for the team. From reports, the Rockets are looking to grant him his buyout request and are pursuing another team for him. Props to Eric Gordon for sticking around and continuing to fight for this team. He knows not much is going to come out of this season, but he looks to be sticking around to possibly be a leader on this roster that has five rookies and six guys with two years or less in the league. The good news for this Rockets squad is that there is really nowhere to go but up. They finished near the bottom in almost every category last season, going 17-55 and finishing 27in both the offense and defensive rankings. They had a 20-game losing streak where 19 of the 20 losses came by five points or more. This season will likely be a repeat of last season and we will see a team that will be looking to see what they have in an extremely young roster.
This is another team that had a season to forget last year, with injuries and a mid-season coaching change after Ryan Saunders’ 7-24 start to the season. The Wolves made a few trades to bolster their roster, adding Beverley, who has ties to new head coach Chris Finch, from back in Houston, who will certainly be in a leadership role with a roster that is fairly young. Taurean Prince was also acquired in a deal that sent Ricky Rubio to the Cavs, and he will certainly add depth and look to help a defense that ranked 28 last season. The T Wolves are a team that are looking to get in shape for a run at the play-in tournament that we will see return this season that they just missed last year. Beverley is out for this game on suspension, but his impact he has already had on this team and some of their veteran leadership should lead to a good start to the season.
Timberwolves vs Rockets: The Pick
Not a big surprise here. We are taking the Timberwolves -5.5 at home in this one. The team is healthy and coming into the season with a head coach that had decent success given the hand he was dealt last season and a roster they feel has taken steps forward, facing a team that is just trying to evaluate guys. Take the T Wolves to get a solid win at home to start the season.
Same Game Parlay
Minnesota -5.5 (-110), Anthony Edwards over 22.5 points (-110) and Towns under 2.5 made three pointers (-132) +490
Big Kat averaged about four three’s a game last season and at that metric he would need to shoot 75% for that part of the parlay to not cash with the growth of Edwards, who finished the majority of his games within the 20–28-point range. That won’t be necessary.