NBA – SAT 3/9 | 8:00 PM EST | TARGET CENTER
The Washington Wizards doesn’t need to be great to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, but they need to start winning games on the road. They are 19-12 at home this season but just 8-25 on the road. That’s one of the reasons why they are three games behind the final playoff spot (Miami) and two behind Orlando and Charlotte as of Friday night. The other reason was that John Wall (Achilles) and Dwight Howard (back) have missed most of the season. The Wizards have won three of their last four games heading into the game against the Hornets, which included a road win over Brooklyn (125-116) on Feb. 27. After losing at Boston on March 1, 107-96, Washington downed the T-Wolves at home (135-121) and Dallas (132-123) at home.
The Minnesota T-Wolves said goodbye to Tom Thibodeau and Jimmy Butler, which means hello to the NBA Lottery. That’s not to say they would have made the Western Conference playoffs with those two. But right now, The Timberwolves are 6.5 games behind the Clippers and the Spurs for the final playoff spot in the West. They’ve lost four of their last five games so their playoff hopes are fading fast. Maybe the best thing is to not make the playoffs and start building around Karl-Anthony Towns. They also need to figure out what to do with Andrew Wiggins, who is averaging 17.6 points per game but appears to be one of those players who puts up hollow stats.
The Wizards are a poor 10-23 against the spread on the road, easily dead-last in the NBA. The Timberwolves have covered just once in their last five games, but getting Washington at home (Minnesota is 18-13 ATS at Xcel) is a cure for what ails. My projections like the Wolves to cruise by double figures, covering handily.