Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Records: Raptors (12-14), Timberwolves (6-20)
Where to Watch
Date: Sunday, Feb. 14
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: SN One / SNO (Canada), League Pass (USA)
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
The Raptors are back in Tampa after their six-game road trip game to a close on Thursday. Their next opponent? The Timberwolves.
The Raptors are on the upswing following a slow start to the season. They've won five of their last seven games, moving them to seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 12-14 record. They now trail the Charlotte Hornets (13-14) in sixth place by half a game, the Indiana Pacers (13-13) in fifth place by one game and the Boston Celtics (13-12) in fourth place by 1.5 games.
It's been a team effort to get the Raptors back on track. Pascal Siakam has looked more like his All-Star self with four 30-point games since returning from injury at the end of January. Fred VanVleet isn't far removed from one of the greatest games in franchise history, Kyle Lowry seems to have found his rhythm lately, Chris Boucher has picked up his play again and Norman Powell continues to shine as a starter.
With OG Anunoby's return from injury looming, the Raptors are positioned to close the first half of the season on a strong note.
"I think we're trending upward," Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said following their road trip, per TSN's Josh Lewenberg. "I think we're playing really good basketball.
"We look like we're getting in good shape. We're finding a little better rhythm, we're executing a little better. Got a lot of room for improvement, but we've got some time to get better."
MORE: Six takeaways from six-game road trip
It's been a tough season so far for the Timberwolves, who find themselves at the bottom of the Western Conference standings with a 6-20 record and enter Sunday's matchup riding a four-game losing streak.
Even so, they have an interesting collection of young talent.
Two-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging 21.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the two games he's played since returning to the lineup. No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft Anthony Edwards has taken his game to another level since being inserted into the starting lineup at the end of January, with averages of 16.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. And Malik Beasley, whom the Timberwolves acquired from the Denver Nuggets last season, is having a breakout season to the tune of 21.0 points per game.
No. 28 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft Jaden McDaniels has also shown flashes for Minnesota.
|￣￣￣￣￣￣￣￣￣￣￣|- Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) February 11, 2021
is a very good
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Unfortunately for the Timberwolves, it appears as though D'Angelo Russell will miss his third straight game with leg soreness, as he is reportedly not with the team on their road trip.
- Jarrett Culver (Left Ankle) - Out
- D'Angelo Russell (Left Leg) - Out
- OG Anunoby (Left Calf) - Questionable
- Malachi Flynn (G League assignment) - Out
- Jalen Harris (G League assignment) - Out
- Patrick McCaw (Left Knee) - Out
- Yuta Watanabe (Left Ankle) - Doubtful
- The Raptors currently rank seventh in offensive efficiency (113.5) and 19th in defensive efficiency (111.6).
- The Timberwolves rank 28th in offensive efficiency (105.7) and 23rd in defensive efficiency (112.9).
- The Raptors have won five straight games against the Timberwolves. Their last loss came on Jan. 20, 2018.
- In 13 games as a starter this season, Norman Powell is averaging 21.1 points on 50.5 percent shooting from the field and 45.0 percent from 3-point range.
- Fred VanVleet currently leads the league with 46 steals on the season. He also leads the league with 96 deflections.
- According to NBA.com, Anthony Edwards has been one of the most efficient isolation scorers in the league, ranking in the 95th percentile with 1.29 points per possession.
- Karl-Anthony Towns has made 520 3-pointers in his NBA career. According to Stathead, the only centres who have ever made more are Brook Lopez (583), Mehmet Okur (596), Kelly Olynyk (625) and Channing Frye (1,049).
- Malik Beasley already has 15 20-point games this season. Entering this season, he had a total of 22 20-point games.
Last Time They Played
Date: Feb. 10, 2020
Score: Raptors 137, Timberwolves 126
Raptors: Pascal Siakam - 34 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns - 23 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block
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