It’s gameday! The Philadelphia 76ers are facing the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at 6:00 pm EST back in the City of Brotherly Love. Tonight’s game will be presented on NBC Sports Philadelphia and Philadelphia’s 97.5 “The Fanatic”. As for uniforms, Minnesota is wearing their 90s-based city jersey and the 76ers are rocking their white association jersey. 

Most importantly, this will be the first of two games between these two teams this season. Last year, Philadelphia swept the Timberwolves 2-0 in their regular season series. Today could be another chapter in the rivalry between Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Minnesota’s Karl Anthony-Towns, if both centers play. 

Timberwolves Outlook

The Minnesota Timberwolves are 9-10 on the season and 10th place in the Western Conference. Last night, the Charlotte Hornets defeated Minnesota 133-115 and snapped their five-game winning streak. Despite the loss, Karl Anthony-Towns contributed 25 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and shot 9-18 (50%) from the field. On the other hand, the Timberwolves are a subpar road team with a record of 3-4 on away games. However, they are 6-4 in their last 10 games. Although, tonight’s game is the second part of a back-to-back, so fatigue could be an issue. 

Two main factors that are contributing to Minnesota’s respectable success is the star power of Karl Anthony-Towns and their much-improved defense. On the season, Towns is averaging 22.8 points per game, 9.0 rebounds per game, and 3.5 assists per game, and shooting a career-high 44.0% from three on 6.1 attempts per game. In addition, his impact offensively is invaluable to this Timberwolves team. When Karl Anthony-Towns is on the floor, Minnesota scores 12.2 points per 100 possessions. Unfortunately, Towns is questionable for tonight’s contest due to a finger injury. 

Defensively, the Minnesota Timberwolves look like a completely different ball club compared to last year. To boot, the Wolves allow only 105.3 points per 100 possessions, which ranks them 10th in the league in defensive rating. Last season, the Timberwolves had the 28th best defensive rating in the NBA. This recent defensive success has much to do with veteran guard Patrick Beverly as he provides leadership and scrappiness to this team. Nevertheless, Beverly is sidelined for today’s game due to an adductor issue. 

Timberwolves 12:30 pm EST Injury Report:

(Not yet submitted)

76ers Outlook

The Philadelphia 76ers are 10-9 on the year and sit at 9th place in the eastern conference. Further, Philadelphia concluded their six-game on Tuesday in a rough loss to the Golden State Warriors 116-96. As expected, brothers Stephen Curry and Seth Curry went at each other. Seth Curry led the 76ers in scoring with 24 points on 8-16 shooting from the field. 

Overall, the Sixers were 2-4 on this road swing, while dealing with a multitude of injuries. Undoubtedly, Philadelphia needs to get back to their early season winning ways, as they’re 3-7 in their last 10 games. Even so, Tyrese Maxey kept the injury-riddled 76ers competitive. In the absence of Joel Embiid, Maxey averaged 23.7 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game, 4.6 assists per game, shot 42.1% from three, and had a 59.2 true-shooting percentage. 

Fortunately, the 76ers could be at full strength tonight, not including Ben Simmons. Joel Embiid is questionable for tonight’s game after missing 9 consecutive games due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The star big man leads Philadelphia averaging 21.4 points per game, 9.6 rebounds per game, and 4.0 assists per game. Additionally, Tobias Harris is also questionable with left hip soreness and he missed two straight games. Finally, Danny Green (hamstring tightness) made his return against the Golden State Warriors and dropped 10 points on 4-5 shooting. 

76ers 12:30 pm EST Injury Report:

  • Joel Embiid (Questionable – Health and Safety Protocols)
  • Tobias Harris (Questionable – Left Hip Soreness)
  • Ben Simmons (Out – Personal Reasons)