Gameday: Timberwolves vs Raptors, March 18

First leg of a back to back is against a likely depleted and tired Minnesota team.

This game should be considered a golden opportunity for the Raptors to inch closer to the all-important eight seed.

League leading Milwaukee is waiting on Sunday, literally the worst opponent you can draw up to play on a back to back. 1-1 in this scenario is a passing grade. Minnesota is the final West opponent on the schedule. The remaining 11 games afterwards are all vs the Eastern Conference.

Timberwolves scope (35-36, 8th in West | Offensive rating: 24th | Defensive rating: 10th)

The T-Wolves have dropped two straight and seem to be hanging on to a play-in spot for dear life at this point. Karl-Anthony Towns has been out for months. They are on a mini East Coast swing. And to make matters worse, their ironman Anthony Edwards left last night’s game in Chicago in considerable pain after spraining his ankle. Minnesota lost in double overtime and now heads to Toronto for a brutal back to back. Utah sits 11th in the West, just a game behind the Timberwolves incase a spiral is on the horizon.

Raptors scope (34-36, 9th in East | Offensive rating: 12th | Defensive rating: 17th)

Anti-tanking Raptors fans will want much of the same from the last two games. Toronto hit the 125 point mark against both Denver and Oklahoma City, shooting 50 percent from the field and over 40 behind the arc in those two contests combined. The Raps have won six straight at home for the first time since the 2019-20 season.

Precious Achiuwa received his first DNP-CD of the year when active against OKC on Thursday. One would assume if Christian Koloko is unable to play, Nick Nurse may have to slot Achiuwa back in to the backup big role that Nurse admittedly is trying to avoid. If Koloko does play, who knows what role Precious will have? He’s averaging 14 minutes and four points in March.

Game Info

Tip-Off: 7pm EDT | TV: TSN 1, 4K | Radio: TSN Radio 1050

Timberwolves Lineup

It’s hard to imagine Anthony Edwards playing in this game after being helped off the court with a sprained ankle last night. He is listed as doubtful. Karl Anthony Towns (calf) has been participating in basketball activities and is expected to return in the coming weeks. Jaylen Nowell (knee) didn’t play on Friday.

PG: Mike Conley, Jordan McLaughlin

SG: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Austin Rivers, Wendell Moore Jr.

SF: Kyle Anderson, Taurean Prince, Josh Minott

PF: Jaden McDaniels, Nathan Knight

C: Rudy Gobert, Naz Reid, Luka Garza

Raptors Lineup

Christian Koloko broke his nose on this play on Thursday. Apparently he fouled with his face.

Koloko is questionable, and will be wearing a mask if he plays. Dalano Banton (thumb) is out. Joe Wieskamp is likely to do double duty (905 plays at 2pm).

PG: Fred VanVleet, Will Barton, Malachi Flynn

SG: Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr.

SF: O.G. Anunoby, Joe Wieskamp

PF: Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, Precious Achiuwa, Thaddeus Young

C: Jakob Poeltl, Christian Koloko

The Line

Line has Toronto favoured by nine points. Raps moneyline is -420. Over/Under is 224.5