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Lakers vs Wolves: Game Preview

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The Lakers will travel to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves today, in what could possibly be the game of the season so far for both teams. There is only one half-game separating them and play in seeding, or a chance to jump above the play-in altogether, are at stake. The Lakers enter today 38-38, and a win would put them over .500 for the first time in over a year as well as giving them sole possession of the 7-seed. Like the Lakers, the Wolves have had an injury-riddled season, most noticeably with Karl-Anthony Towns recently returning after missing multiple months with a serious calf strain.

Injury Report

Lebron James is listed as questionable while Anthony Davis is probable and Mo Bamba remains out for LA. For the Timberwolves, Anthony Edwards is probable, Naz Reid is out after suffering a broken wrist, and Towns, Taurean Prince, Austin Rivers, Matt Ryan and Jaylen Nowell are all questionable.

Bench Stability

In Wednesday’s win over Chicago, the Lakers starting group was immense and built two big leads when in the game. However, the Lakers really struggled with the bench unit. With Austin Reaves in the starting lineup, Dennis Schröder has been the only creator of offense with the second unit. With the Lakers operating with multiple ball handlers in the starting lineup, it would maybe benefit the Lakers to stagger these minutes more to help alleviate the pressure on Schröder with the second unit.

D’Lo Revenge Game?

This game will mark the first visit back to Minnesota for D’Angelo Russell, who spent 3 seasons with the Timberwolves. Recent reports have indicated that the Wolves wanted to move on from Russell as they believed he wanted to make too many flashy plays, and they swapped him out for Point Guard Mike Conley. With the Timberwolves having good defensive length especially on the interior with Jaden McDaniels and Rudy Gobert , who will attempt to neutralize laker duo Lebron James and Anthony Davis , the pressure will be on Russell to provide some extra scoring to help out the stars.

This isn’t new territory for Russell, however. He’s a crafty scoring guard and the Lakers will need that dynamic scoring ability tonight. Tip off is at 8ET, and the stakes are clear. A loss tonight and a win for the Thunder would see the Lakers fall to the 10-seed. A win would see them within a game of the 6-seeded Golden State Warriors, within shouting distance of escaping the play-in.

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