Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Boston Celtics / NBA – The second this seasons duel between the Wolves and Celtics could be pass without the two leading stars of these teams. Butler will certainly not be able to play for the host team due to injury, while Irving's performance is very questionable, although according to the words of Boston coach Steven, they will not rush with his return. The first duel of these teams ended with a victory of Boston with 91:84. Begins: 09.03.2018. – 02:00 CET
In the first duel with Boston, Minnesota could not count on play Teague and they will now be deprived of the services of their best shooter Butler. He still does not know exactly how much he will be absent. According to some prognoses, he should be by the end of the season, but there are also those optimists who say Butler will be back much earlier. For now they are without him, and this position is now occupied by Bjelica, but he is not adding much to their attacking effect, because it is difficult to compensate for about 22 points of Butler's average.
Thanks to him, the Wolves are the sixth offensive team in the league, and without him it is definitely much more difficult to play. They are in a mini-series of two defeats (they only have 2 defeats out of 13 away matches in January) and their fans are also worried about Gibson’s injury which happened in their last defeat by Utah, as well as a possible suspension of Teague for being excluded in the same match. In the first match with Boston, the Wolves did have the best shot, not including Towns (25 points and 23 rebounds) and Crowford, and they had only 15 assists. The Wolves have only four out of the last ten matches, dropping them to several places on the table (with 38-28 they are in sixth place in the West).
Probable lineups Minnesota Timberwolves: Teague (Jones), Wiggins, Bjelica, Gibson (Dieng), Towns
As the Wolves are concerned about their roster, the team of Boston is not sure what five players will perform in Minneapolis. Irving got injured a couple of nights ago and he has missed the last match against Chicago (and a convincing victory over Boston), and the weight of his injury was such that he should not be absent from the court for long. Coach Stevens hopes he will soon return to the court, in seven days maximum. Instead of him, Larkin is now in the team, with a trusted duo Smart-Rozier on the bench. After defeating the Bulls, Boston has come to a 45-20 effect and he certainly holds the second place in the East.
The mentioned duo Smart-Rozier made a huge contribution to the victory of his team in the first match with the Wolves because the two of them together scored 32 points with 12 assists. And now their effect could be extremely important, because in absence of Irving, the Celtics need additional points for their players from the bench. The Celtics suit matches with Wolves on their court, because they have won nine matches against Minnesota in Boston, and we will see how they will now play in the opponent’s hall, where the Wolves have 25-7.
Probable lineups Boston Celtics: Larkin (Irving), Brown, Tatum, Horford, Baynes
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Boston Celtics PICK
Since it is not certain which five players will the home team send to the court, and whether Irving will perform for the guests, it is difficult to tell who is closer to victory. Due to possible reduced rotation in both teams, it is perhaps the safest to expect a match with a smaller number of points, especially as we know that both teams will be without their best strikers this season.
Pick: under 214.5 points
Odds: 1.95 at betway (down to 1.85 can be played)