The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Houston Rockets each have one last chance to end a losing streak before the NBA All-Star Break. The Timberwolves, the worst team in the NBA, are riding a nine-game losing streak. The Rockets, the second-worst team in the Western Conference, saw their skid reach 12 in a row and are desperate to avoid loss number 13.
If you like to fade trends, then there are two spots for you with the Timberwolves and Rockets playing games on Wednesday night. They’re the final game of the first-half for both teams before they head into a much-needed break. The Rockets and Timberwolves are both playing home games, whereas their road opponents could be caught sleepwalking and thinking about their vacation instead of focusing on the task in front of them.
The Rockets host the Brooklyn Nets (23-13), who are the second-best team in the Eastern Conference. It’s also a chance for James Harden to return to Houston for the first time since the epic four-team trade that shipped him to Brooklyn. The Rockets are +10 home dogs tonight.
The Timberwolves host the Charlotte Hornets (16-18), who are currently in the #8 seed in the East, despite being two games below .500. The Timberwolves are only getting +1.5 points, but are still a home dog against the Hornets. LaMelo Ball and the Hornets struggle on the road with a 7-10 away record.
Frigid Winter in Minnesota with the Timberwolves
The Timberwolves recently fired head coach Ryan Saunders, but that did nothing to help them end their losing streak. It’s now at eight games and counting. They allowed 128-plus points in four of those losses, including two overtime games. Since Finch arrived, the T-Wolves are 0-4 and allowed 129.5 ppg.
Once again, Karl-Anthony Towns is the best player on a terrible team, but they’re really missing D’Angelo Russell (knee) right now. Towns averages 22.4 points and 10.7 assists per game. Rookie Anthony Edwards, the overall top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, continues to improve every game. He’s one of the few bright spots on a horrible squad. Edwards averages 12.8 ppg this season, but in the month of February, he averaged 16.1 ppg.
Edwards also threw down the Dunk of the Year against the Toronto Raptors, which will be hard to top.
The Timberwolves have a porous defense that allows the third-most points in the league with 116.5 ppg. They also shoot themselves in the foot on offense, averaging only 108.1 ppg, ranking them #23 in scoring out of 30 NBA teams.
The Timberwolves are 0-9 ATS in their last nine games, but the Hornets are only 6-5 ATS in their last 11. On the road, the Hornets are 9-8 ATS this season.
Houston, We Have Lots of Problems
With 12 losses in a row, the Rockets are in the middle of their worst losing streak since 2001, when they were knocked around like a rag doll with 15-straight losses. It’s obvious that the Rockets are a different team without Christian Wood on the floor. They can’tt wait to get their best player back from a sprained ankle injury.
The Rockets missed a spot to end their skid against the banged-up Cleveland Cavs on Monday night.
“I believe in this group’s competitiveness and their fight,” said Houston coach Stephen Silas. “I’m disappointed in the loss obviously, and disappointed the streak continued, but I’m proud of these men who gave it everything they had, and they just didn’t have enough tonight.”
If there’s ever a night to keep an eye on Harden, it’s tonight when he battles his former squad. This is one of those spots where he can drop 60 points or have an ugly night and miss 15 treys. But he’s a different player ever since he joined the Nets. Harden evolved into the Nets’ primary disher, and leads the NBA with 11 assists per game.
The Nets won’t have Kevin Durant in this game, and they’re still double-digit favorites.
The Rockets have major problems scoring, which is why their losing streak continues. They’re the fifth-worst in the NBA, averaging 107.4 ppg. They also are the worst in the league in 3-point shooting with a 33% success rate, which will get even worse if the Rockets trade PJ Tucker to the LA Lakers.
The Rockets are 1-12 ATS in their last 13 games, whereas the Nets are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games. The Nets are only 9-8 ATS on the road this season.