Last Updated: 2018-08-20
The basketball fans in Minneapolis waited for 13 years to see the Timberwolves playing in the post-season, as their beloved team finally looks competitive. The Minnesota Timberwolves finished the previous season at the eighth spot of the Western Conference with a 47-35 record (30-11 at home, 17-24 on the road), enough for the fourth place in the Northwest Division. They were easily beaten by the Houston Rockets in five games in the first round of the playoffs, but the Timberwolves didn’t disappoint their fans who just cannot wait for the 2018-19 season to start. The futures and season props are already available on BetDSI Sportsbook, so let’s see what can the bettors expect from the Timberwolves this season.
Minnesota Timberwolves Futures Odds
Win Total Over/Under at 45: Over -115; Under -105
To Win the Northwest Division at +520
To Win the Western Conference at +8000
To Win the NBA Championship at +10000
To Make NBA Playoffs: YES -175, NO +125 (Bet365 Sportsbook)
Minnesota Timberwolves Player Movement
Draft: Josh Okogie (No. 20 Pick), Keita Bates-Diop (No. 48 Pick)
Added: James Nunnally (free agency, Fenerbahce), Anthony Tolliver (free agency, Detroit Pistons)
Lost: Cole Aldrich (waived), Nemanja Bjelica (signed with Sacramento Kings)
Unrestricted Free Agents: Aaron Brooks, Jamal Crawford, Anthony Brown
At the 2018 NBA Draft, the Timberwolves selected the 19-year old shooting guard Josh Okogie with the 20th overall pick and a 22-year old small forward Keita Bates-Diop with the 48th overall pick. Josh Okogie is a versatile two-way guard who impressed in his two years at Georgia Tech, averaging 16.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.0 assists while shooting 41.6% from the field. Offensively, Okogie plays well on and off the ball, doing all little things for his teammates, but he’s the most prolific in the transition. On the other side of the ball, Okogie is a promising stopper who should guide multiple positions thanks to his length and strength.
Keita Bates-Diop is a skilled wing who played four years at Ohio State where he had a terrific ultimate season with the Buckeyes, averaging 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds in 33.1 minutes per game while shooting 48.0% from the field. Keita earned the Big Ten Player of the Year Award, so it’s strange he was picked up so late in the draft. Has a potential to be an all-around player, possessing great anticipation around the rim, while he also does a lot of valuable things on both ends of the floor.
The Timberwolves lost the forward Nemanja Bjelica who played an important role last year, especially when Jimmy Butler was sidelined due to an injury. As a replacement, they acquired James Nunnally from the Turkish champions Fenerbahce, and the experienced Anthony Tolliver who played for the Detroit Pistons last season, recording 8.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 22.2 minutes per game while hitting 43.6% of his 3-pointers on 4.6 shots per game.
Minnesota Timberwolves 2018-19 Roster
There were some speculations over Karl-Anthony Towns future, but the 1st overall pick from the 2015 NBA Draft will continue to develop in Minneapolis. Towns wasn’t efficient in points last year like he was two years ago in his sophomore season, recording 3.8 points per game less than in the 2016-17 season. However, his numbers were excellent – 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 54.5% from the field and 42.1% from beyond the arc, so Towns earned his first ever All-Star game. The Special K started in all 82 games for the third season in a row, and it tells a lot about his physical ability, so the Timberwolves should stick with him as a first scoring option. Towns has some problems at the defensive end, but he’s still young and ready to learn.
Jimmy Butler came to Minneapolis last year to make the Timberwolves winning, and he did it, although some reports indicate he’s not so happy with the young core. The four-time All-Star was the team’s leading scorer with 22.2 points per game on 47.4% shooting from the field while recording 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 36.7 minutes per game. His versatility and two-way playing were essential for the Timberwolves, but Jimmy had some injury problems that sidelined him for 23 games last season. He should be a real leader on the floor in this term, and if he stays healthy, the Timberwolves could improve their winning record.
The 23-year old wing Andrew Wiggins is the final member of the Timberwolves big three, although his numbers slumped after Jimmy Butler joined the team. The 1st overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft averaged six points per game less than two years ago, recording 17.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.0 assists while shooting 43.8% from the field and just 33.1% from beyond the arc. Wiggins is another Ironman, missing only one game in his four-year NBA career. Last year, he started in all 82 games, spending 36.3 minutes on the floor per game.
Jeff Teague will be a starting point guard, entering his second season in Minneapolis and tenth in the league. Teague started in all 70 games he played for the Timberwolves last season, averaging 14.2 points and 7.0 assists in 33.0 minutes per game. Derrick Rose will be a backup playmaker, and the fans just hope he will stay healthy throughout the season and find a piece of his All-Star form. D-Rose played in nine games for Minnesota, so he couldn’t help a lot. Taj Gibson will continue to serve as a starting power forward after playing all 82 games last year in the starting lineup. Gibson is an experienced big man who plays well on both sides of the ball, working hard for every rebound, while he averaged 12.2 points and 7.1 rebounds in his first season with the Timberwolves.
Players Under Contract:
Jeff Teague (PG), Derrick Rose (PG), Tyus Jones (PG)
Andrew Wiggins (SG), Josh Okogie (SG)
Jimmy Butler (SG-SF), Keita Bates-Diop (SF), C.J. Williams (SF)
Taj Gibson (PF), Anthony Tolliver (PF)
Karl-Anthony Towns (C), Gorgui Dieng (C), Justin Patton (C)
Win Total Prediction and Betting Picks
Although the Timberwolves won 47 games in the previous season, the bookies set the line on the win total at 44.5 games in this term, and the main reason for the low mark is probably a suspicious atmosphere around Tom Thibodeau’s team. However, if the 60-year old head coach finds the way to settle the things, the Timberwolves should easily replicate the last season’s record which will be enough to beat the line. He will need to improve his team’s defense, as the Timberwolves had the fourth-worst defensive rating last year, allowing 111.1 points per 100 possessions to their opponents. On the other hand, their offensive rating was the fourth-best in the league (113.4), so the bettors can expect some high-scoring affairs from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Due to a stiff competition in the Northwest Division, the Timberwolves are +520 minnows to win the division title, according to 5Dimes Sportsbook, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the top. This sounds like a nice wager, although the Oklahoma City Thunder looks like the strongest fave to top the Northwest. Clinching the playoff berth will be a priority for the Timberwolves, but with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, they could reach the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Winning the NBA championship at +10000 still looks far, far away.
The Pick: Over 45 (-115)
Prediction: Western Conference First Round
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