Minnesota and NBA Betting News: Gobert's suspension could Affect the Team in the Play-In Game

Minnesota and NBA Betting News: Gobert’s Suspension could Affect the Team in the Play-In Game

The second 7 vs. 8 play-in tournament game in the NBA on Tuesday is from the Western Conference as Minnesota visits the LA Lakers, with the winner advancing to face No. 2 Memphis this weekend. The loser still has another shot to advance vs. the 9-10 loser, and Minnesota is a solid underdog on the NBA odds tonight without suspended All-Star center Rudy Gobert as well as fellow big men Jaden McDaniels and Naz Reid.


Timberwolves Suspend All-Star Center Rudy Gobert For Play-In Tournament Game Vs. Lakers


When: April 11 at 10:00 pm ET
Where: Crypto.com Arena
TV / Streaming: TNT

Minnesota had to play all out on Sunday in an effort to earn the No. 8 spot in the West by beating New Orleans, which the Timberwolves did 113-108. Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points and eight rebounds. He’s scored 20 or more in six of the eight games he’s appeared in since returning from a strained calf, with Sunday being Towns’ first 30-point effort of the year. Anthony Edwards had 26 points, 13 rebounds, four steals and four blocks but also eight turnovers.

However, the big news from that game was Gobert punching teammate Kyle Anderson during a second-quarter huddle and being sent him immediately by the team – and suspended for this game. Gobert, who is not traveling with the team to Los Angeles, publicly apologized and privately talked through the incident with Anderson but the organization believed it had no choice but to suspend Gobert for Tuesday. Wolves President Tim Connelly said Gobert’s behavior was “unacceptable.”

Gobert ranks fourth in the NBA in field goal percentage (65.9) and rebounds per game (11.6 rpg) while averaging 13.4 points and 1.4 blocks. He is the only player in the NBA to be in the top-five in both field goal percentage and rebounds per game. Since the All-Star break, Gobert is averaging 14.3 points on 61.9 shooting from the field, 12.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 blocks per game.

Anderson’s signing last summer might have been the move that saved the Wolves’ season. He has been one of the most dependable players each night thanks to his playmaking ability on offense, his hustle, and his ability to guard multiple positions on defense. He has notched three triple-doubles while averaging 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists. But he also tends to run teammates the wrong way at times.

“Effective communication is important, because we don’t have time, particularly in the game to flower things up and worry about hurt feelings,” Coach Chris Finch said. “Sometimes he barks at me and I don’t take it personally. He’s in the middle of the battle, so I think everybody sees it as such.”

And starting forward Jaden McDaniels for some reason punched a wall late in the first quarter after picking up his second foul and immediately started clutching his right hand. It’s broken so he is out for weeks. McDaniels was averaging career-highs of 12.1 points and 59.1% shooting this season and playing great defense. Backup center Naz Reid broke his wrist last month so he’s out too. Thus, Minnesota is really thin in the frontcourt.

The Lakers’ combination of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell are 8-1 when they all play together. Russell was acquired in a three-way deal from Minnesota at the Trade Deadline. In Sunday’s 128-117 win over Utah, LeBron scored a game-high 36 points. It marked his 25th game this season scoring 30+ points and his 80th such game since turning 35 years old, tying Karl Malone for the most all-time in NBA history.

“It’s a challenge versus everybody, and Minnesota is no different,” James said. “When you got guys like KAT [Karl-Anthony Towns] and Anthony Edwards, those guys can both go for 40 against you. … You have a very cerebral, solid point guard in Mike Conley who’s been in multiple playoff games. So, listen, we know what we’re getting ourselves into.”

L.A. finished the season by winning nine of its final 11 games, including a 123-111 win in Minnesota on March 31. The Timberwolves won the regular season series 2-1, however. Lakers guard Austin Reaves, who had 12 points, 6 assists and 0 turnovers against Utah, said L.A. would also lean on the institutional knowledge of the three Lakers who used to play for the Wolves in Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley.

“Anytime that you have a player that’s played for another team, at least I do, when they call out a play, communicate back and forth [you ask them] like, ‘What’s going on?’ because they’ve been in the system and played there,” Reaves said.


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