Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Preview, Analysis and Predictions

The Los Angeles Lakers could slowly be inching their way toward a playoff run, but they still have some work to do. Fortunately, the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves will visit the Staples Center for a nationally televised game on Thursday night, and a big win could give the Lakers plenty of momentum at their backs.

Los Angeles has the advantage of having defeated Minnesota once already this season, on Feb. 1 at the Target Center, but wins are anything but guaranteed against this feisty squad. Though devastated by injuries in what has become a lost season, the Timberwolves are capable of getting hot in a game in the blink of an eye.

This can be attributed to the dynamic nature of point guard Ricky Rubio, who is slowly turning into one of the best passing point men in the league. Against a weak Lakers defense, he could have a field day.

Thus, Los Angeles must not be cocky and be ready to stave off a team that, at times, likes to run and be explosive. Though unlikely, losing to the Timberwolves at home could be damning to any and all playoff hopes.


Time: Thursday, Feb. 28, 10:30 p.m. EST


Records: Minnesota Timberwolves (20-34) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (28-30)

Betting Line: Not available as of Wednesday, Feb. 27, 10:44 a.m. EST

Injuries: Jordan Hill (hip, out), Pau Gasol (foot, out), Brandon Roy (knee, out), Chase Budinger (knee, out), Malcolm Lee (knee, out), Kevin Love (hand, out), Andrei Kirilenko (calf, day-to-day) and Nikola Pekovic (undisclosed, day-to-day), via ESPN


Key Storyline: Lakers Seek Momentum with Big Win Over Minnesota

The Lakers may have beaten Minnesota the first time the two teams faced off this season, but that is not indicative of how the team needs to play the second time around. On Feb. 1, with star center Dwight Howard out with a shoulder injury, the Lakers won 111-100 thanks to 22 po...

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