NBA Game Preview: Celtics Vs. Timberwolves (Jan. 2) – Time Start, Channel, Stats, Players To Watch
The Wolves (17-20) are 13th in the Western Conference and are coming off a 123-114 loss to the Pelicans in New Orleans on New Year’s Eve, while the Celtics (21-15) are fifth in the East and last lost to the Spurs 120-111 in San Antonio on Monday.
“A 46-point third quarter, you’re going to get beat,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after the loss to the Spurs. “It started with them physically overpowering us, getting to the rim clearly like a mindset of ‘We’re going to go the rim and make you stop us.’”
In their last meeting on Dec. 1, Boston defeated the Timberwolves 118-109 in Minnesota.
All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns, 23, has been Minnesota’s standout player in the last four contests: the 2015 No. 1 overall pick out of Kentucky is averaging 28.3 points, 5.5 assists and 18.5 rebounds. The Timberwolves may potentially miss guards Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague on Wednesday night due to ankle injuries. Thus, Towns and Taj Gibson will likely need to power the team’s offense against the Celtics.
As for Boston, Kyrie Irving sustained a left eye injury in Monday’s defeat to San Antonio after he and Marco Bellini crashed while fighting for a rebound. However, Irving may not sit out at all.
“He smacked the s— out of me,” Irving told The Boston Globe after that game. “He caught me pretty good.”
Irving is averaging 6.6 assists and 23.1 points. On Wednesday, Boston will be without center Aron Baynes (broken hand), which suggests Towns, Gibson and Robert Covington may end up doing the bulk of the work for Minnesota’s offense.
Which of these teams will get their first win of 2019? This game will air at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN, tune in to find out!