Tonight is the last night of NBA games before the All-Star break, and one of those games features the Washington Wizards heading to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves. We’ll preview the game before going over our best prop play for the action.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been one of the better teams at home this season, as they have a 20-12 straight-up record at the Target Center. Aside from their success at home, tonight is likely a much-needed home game since they will have played four straight away games entering today. Minnesota finished 2-2 over their road trip, but they managed a 6-4 record with a 1.3 NET rating over their last ten games.
Tonight will be the first night that Minnesota fans will get an in-person look at newly acquired point guard Mike Conley. The veteran guard was a significant factor in the Timberwolves' most recent win over the Mavs, as he dished out nine assists in the game, giving Anthony Edwards and Rudy Gobert plenty of scoring opportunities.
One area that Conley will likely not be able to contribute much is on defense, as in the three games since the trade deadline, Minnesota ranks 26th in defensive efficiency rating while allowing 118 or more points to be scored in all three games. With the way the Wizards' offense has been playing, this could be a problem for the T-Wolves.
Washington is 3rd in the league in offensive efficiency rating over the past ten games and has scored 126 or more points in three straight games. The trio of Kyle Kuzma, Kristaps Porzingis, and Bradley Beal shot a combined 56% while also pulling in 23 rebounds in the Wizards' most recent win over the Trail Blazers.
Across that same ten-game span, Washington is 15th in the league in defensive efficiency rating and has looked like a different team on that end of the floor on a nightly basis. Holding a surging Portland offense to just 101 points is impressive, so we’ll see which level of defensive intensity they come out with tonight.
For my prop play, I’ll be targeting Monte Morris over 4.5 assists at (-130). The Wizards' point guard is averaging 5.3 assists per game this season and 4.9 over his last ten games. Over that ten-game stretch, Morris has gone over 4.5 assists in six of the games, and he is now distributing the ball to one of the hottest shooting offenses in the league.
His opponent tonight is also an ideal match-up for this prop since, over the last five games, the Timberwolves are allowing an average of 27.6 assists per game, which is the 5th most in that span. In their most recent win over the Mavs, the T-Wolves allowed both Dallas guards to put up six assists, and in the game prior, the Grizzlies guards combined for 14 assists.
Over the past ten games, 61% of the Wizards' field goals have been assisted, which is the 11th-highest average in that span. With Washington shooting 51% from the field over the past ten games and the T-Wolves' struggles to limit ball movement, I think this is an excellent spot to target the Wizards' point guard.
Monte Morris Over 4.5 Assists (-130)