Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) celebrates with Los Angeles Clippers guard Luke Kennard (5) after winning the three point contest during the 2022 NBA All-Star

The Minnesota Timberwolves have more star power than the L.A. Clippers

April 12, 2022

Clippers at Timberwolves 

Target Center – Minneapolis, MN 

9:30 PM ET 

Minnesota -3.0 

While the play-in game between the No. 7 and 8 seeds isn’t technically a “must-win,” as the loser gets to play the winner of the 9-versus-10 game, it feels like it this year. Why? Because winning and getting the No. 7 seed in the playoffs is much better than getting the No. 8 seed with a win over the 9-10 winner. 

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9) dribbles
Feb 14, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9) dribbles during the fourth quarter of a game between the Toronto Raptors and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 7 seed will face Memphis is the first full round of the NBA Playoffs. The Grizzlies are good, but they aren’t great. Plus, they’ll be trying to work Ja Morant back into the fold; that might cause a few hiccups along the way. 

The No. 8 seed, on the other hand, will draw Phoenix in a seven-game series. Good luck against a Suns team that posted the best record in the NBA during the regular season, by a wide margin. 

So there’s a lot at stake when the Clippers visit the Timberwolves in tonight’s nightcap. It’ll be a doozy on TNT. 

Los Angeles enters the game red hot, winning its last five games of the regular season. Four of those victories came at home, however. And almost all of them came against either non-playoff teams or teams resting their stars. 

Minnesota scuffled a bit down the stretch, losing two of its last three games. Both of those losses came at home, as the Timberwolves seemed to run out of gas down the stretch, as they tried to overtake Denver for the No. 6 seed in the West. 

This one comes down to the stars. And in an unusual flip of the script, L.A. won’t boast the biggest names in a playoff game. 

Karl-Anthony Towns will be the best player on the floor. He led the Timberwolves in points (24.6) and rebounds (9.8) this season. Anthony Edwards might be the second best. The second-year shooting guard is blossoming into a legit star. 

Apr 10, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers guard Amir Coffey (7) celebrates with Clippers mascot after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

At home. A lot on the line. The two best players on the court. Go with Minnesota. 

Jason Schlefsky’s pick: Minnesota M/L (-150)  


Tuesday’s NBA Quick Picks 

Brooklyn -9.5 (-110)