The young Mavericks came out of the gate strong to start the season. However, things have not progressed well for a young team that should be getting better as the season progresses. Clearly, 4-13 over the last 17 games is not what the fans and coaching staff were expecting. The offense is scoring right at 110 PPG, good enough for mid-pack in the NBA. Impressive Rookie of the Year candidate Luca Doncic leads the team in scoring with 19.8 PPG. At 19 years old, his upside potential is immense, something he indicated when he was taking down MVP honors last year in Europe as a barely legal adult. Tonight, they face the team’s albatross of a horrible 3-18 record on the road, something they have to fix to be competitive.
The T-Wolves have too much talent to be hovering around the .500 mark. Unfortunately, they continue having to deal with internal issues and an upset fan base, something they thought would diminish with the trade of malcontent Jimmy Butler. They have been playing a little better of late, winning 6 of its last 9 games. The league’s 10th best offense (112 PPG) is led by C Karl Anthony-Town with 22.1 PPG to go with his team leading rebounding average of 12.3 RPG. A very good supporting cast includes a reborn Derrick Rose (18.9 PPG) and Andrew Wiggins (17.9 PPG). The great depth on this team is another reason why the team’s performance to date is so perplexing.
Prediction: With the T-Wolves playing a little better of late and the Mavericks being simply horrible on the road, the only possible way to play this game is to lay the points. The line makes that play very affordable. Play Minnesota -5 (score – Minnesota 114-104)