3 bold Timberwolves predictions for 2023 NBA Playoffs vs. Nuggets

When the regular season is down to its final game before the postseason, the fans are usually tuning out because the key rotational pieces of their team are not suited up. That was not the case for the Minnesota Timberwolves, though. They needed to play everyone in Game 82, and two additional Play-In Tournament contests, just to make it to the playoffs. But now they have a first-round series against the Denver Nuggets, so it’s time to roll out our Timberwolves playoff predictions.

A myriad of events have occurred in Minnesota over the past week, such as Jaden McDaniels’ fracturing his hand, Rudy Gobert throwing a punch at Kyle Anderson, and Anthony Edwards putting up a horrific performance in their first Play-In Tournament game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite the negativity and recent hurdles the T-Wolves have faced, they will start from square one against the Nuggets in Game 1 on Sunday night.

The Timberwolves have only had one full day to prepare for their series against the Nuggets after their do-or-die victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, but they will be ready to put up a fight in hopes of pulling off a shocking upset. So with tip-off right around the corner, let’s look at three bold predictions for the Timberwolves in their upcoming series with the Nuggets.

3. Anthony Edwards has a big 45-point game for the Timberwolves

If the Timberwolves want a legitimate chance to stretch this series to six or seven games, Anthony Edwards must average over 35 points per game. Edwards is believed to be fighting through some nagging injuries, and was seen grimacing in pain several times during his nightmare game against the Lakers before looking more like himself against the Thunder. As the go-to scorer for Minnesota, Edwards will need to continuously put pressure on Denver’s defenders, especially when he’s matched up with Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic.

Jokic will usually play drop coverage on pick-and-roll situations, so Edwards will need to make him pay by hitting his threes. Scoring at a consistently high level is crucial, but Edwards will need one game where he torches Denver for 45-50 points, possibly in Game 3 or Game 4 of the series. If this series is tied at two heading into Game 5 in Denver, Minnesota would have a very good chance to pull off an upset here.

2. Timberwolves’ Karl Anthony-Towns will outscore Nikola Jokic in the series

Jokic may be the NBA’s reigning two-time MVP, and he may have more postseason experience, but Karl Anthony-Towns will outscore Jokic in this series. The Nuggets are deeper, and will probably advance to the next round, but Towns will have an exceptional series despite the ouster. With Minnesota set to start Towns and Rudy Gobert alongside each other, it will be interesting to see how Denver head coach Michael Malone will match up on the defensive end.

If Jokic is tasked with defending Towns, that will force Jokic to play on the perimeter because of Towns’ excellent outside shooting. If it is Aaron Gordon, Towns can pound him on the block because of his sheer size and stature. Even if he missed more than half of the season because of a calf injury, Towns was stellar in both Play-In contests, and that should continue into this series.

1. Timberwolves’ Kyle Anderson will have a couple of triple-doubles

In Minnesota’s second Play-In game against the Thunder, head coach Chris Finch decided to start Nickeil Alexander-Walker at small forward alongside Towns and Gobert. Taurean Prince might get the assignment of guarding Porter to open Game 1, but Kyle Anderson will likely be utilized at either forward position for over 35 minutes per game in this series. Minnesota will unlikely get away with playing Towns and Gobert simultaneously for long periods of time, so that means Anderson will receive the minutes as the small-ball forward.

Since Porter will be matched up against Anderson, he will have the freedom to roam around or set up the offense for Minnesota. Anderson’s constant activity and brilliant court awareness will give him the opportunity to tally at least two triple-doubles in this series and become a vital factor for the Timberwolves as they look to put together an unexpected playoff run.

The post 3 bold Timberwolves predictions for 2023 NBA Playoffs vs. Nuggets appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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