• The Wolves host two home games before the All-Star break. The Lakers come to town on Thursday, but the marquee matchup is tonight with the Houston Rockets making their way through.

    These teams are among the best offensive teams in the NBA. The Timberwolves have the third best offensive rating while the Rockets have the second best, trailing just the Golden State Warriors.

    The last time these teams met about one month ago, the Rockets were in a groove and easily took care of the Wolves 116-98. That one was in Houston though and the Wolves’ struggles on the road have been well documented.

    In Minneapolis, the Wolves have been a much more dangerous team. Riding a 13-game home win-streak, the team has found their defensive edge and even managed to kick their offense into a higher gear.

    The Rockets are a dangerous team anywhere, though, because they consistently defend well, as opposed to just in spurts like the Wolves. Ranking in the top-10 in defense has pushed the Rockets into legitimate title contenders with the Warriors.

    Since these teams last met on January 18, they rank first and second in offensive rating. The Rockets are 12-1 in that span however, and the Wolves are 6-7. The difference is on the defensive end. The Rockets have the seventh best while the Wolves have had the second worst.

    These struggles aren’t going to be fixed over night making a high scoring affair inevitable, at least on one end. Can the Wolves overcome a strong defense and live up to their offensive potential? Facing off with the one team that has had a better offense of late certainly makes the task seem all the more dire.

    A win tonight, though, can at least give the top of the Western Conference something to consider. So far the Wolves are 26-9 versus the west, which is the best mark in the NBA, but they are 1-4 versus the three teams ahead of them and 0-3 versus the top two.

    Key Matchup:

    – Karl-Anthony Towns vs. Clint Capela

    The Wolves were able to take advantage of this matchup in the last game, with Towns putting up 22 points and 16 rebounds, though he only hit 1-of-7 3-pointers. If Towns is able to hit his deep shots it could disrupt the Houston defense.

    Of course on the other side Capela scored 20 points himself and had way too many easy dunks. Whether Towns or Gibson is guarding him, no one can forget about the big fella down low. The Rockets bombard teams from beyond the arc so it’s easy to get lazy defending the interior.

    The Rockets are proficient in the deep ball and at drawing fouls. Rarely do they settle for mid range shots. Capela plays a factor in the latter portion, while Ryan Anderson plays a portion in the former. The big man battle will be key as the Wolves can’t let either guy get comfortable.

    Capela and Anderson are prolific playing to their strengths, but also limited outside of it. It’s impossible to stop the Rockets completely, but chipping away at some of the pieces can make it tougher.

    Meanwhile whoever is guarding Anderson should demand the attention of the offense should the team ever find themselves in a rut. Capela is a tremendous defender, while Anderson is far from it.


    Jeff Teague – PG

    Jimmy Butler – SG

    Andrew Wiggins – SF

    Taj Gibson – PF

    Karl-Anthony Towns – C


    Chris Paul – PG

    James Harden – SG

    P.J. Tucker – SF

    Luc Mbah a Moute – PF

    Clint Capela – C


    Trevor Ariza (hamstring) – OUT

    Where to Watch:

    8:00 ET/ 7:00 CT on Fox Sports North

Fantasy News

  • Dennis Schroder
    PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Dennis Schroder (ankle) is available for Sunday's home face-off with the Spurs.

    Schroder has been unbelievable off the bench thus far and was never in any real danger of missing time. Plug him into fantasy lineups.

    Source: Tom Orsborn on Twitter

  • Denzel Valentine
    SF, Chicago Bulls

    Denzel Valentine (left hamstring tightness) has been ruled out ahead of Sunday's contest against the Wizards.

    He went through 3-on-3 drill on Friday so he's nearing a return to action. Valentine really needed to get shipped out of town at the deadline a few weeks ago to have any sort of value due to his frequent rifts with coach Jim Boylen. Maybe he gets some extended run closer to the end of the season, but don't hold your breath.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Wendell Carter Jr.
    C, Chicago Bulls

    Wendell Carter Jr. (right ankle sprain) still is not ready to return for Sunday's game against the Wizards.

    He still isn't ready to go and was not expected to be able to give a go on Sunday. Look for him to make his return to the lineup sometime during the upcoming week.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • DeAndre' Bembry
    SF, Atlanta Hawks

    DeAndre' Bembry (abdominal pain) is being listed as out for Monday's game against the Sixers.

    Bembry has not played since January 20th and is dealing with multiple ailments. He has not played well enough to warrant fantasy consideration aside from being a deep league flier when he's out there.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Victor Oladipo
    SG, Indiana Pacers

    Victor Oladipo (back) will sit out Sunday's road contest vs. the Raptors.

    Coach Nate McMillan was not very optimistic about Dipo's chances of suiting up for the Pacers' game Sunday after he missed practice, so this is not a surprising development. He had been upgraded to questionable prior to being ruled out, however, so it sounds like he won't be on the shelf for too long. Oladipo's return to the court has gone anything but smooth so far. Jeremy Lamb will likely receive the start in his place and Malcolm Brogdon will run the offense with Oladipo out of the lineup.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Patrick McCaw
    SG, Toronto Raptors

    Patrick McCaw (illness) is still very unlikely to suit up for Sunday's home game against the Pacers, according to head coach Nick Nurse.

    He is still dealing with an illness. McCaw simply has not been productive enough to warrant fantasy consideration this season. Whether or not he's out there on Sunday has very little fantasy impact.

    Source: Eric Smith on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF-C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis (calf) is in the starting lineup for Sunday afternoon's game at home against the Celtics.

    Davis left Friday's game for a short time, but he came back and finished off a great game with 28 PTS, 13 REB and seven blocks. Leave him in your lineups.

  • Jimmy Butler
    SG, Miami Heat

    Jimmy Butler (personal) is not traveling with the Heat for their game against the Cavs on Monday due to personal reasons.

    It still isn't clear why Butler is out, but fortunately for fantasy managers this is only a one game road trip for the Heat. They come home to face the Wolves on Wednesday so for now he has a good shot at suiting up for that contest. Derrick Jones Jr. will likely pick up another start in Butler's stead, and look for Duncan Robinson and Jae Crowder to receive an uptick in offensive opportunities.

    Source: Anthony Chiang on Twitter

  • Ben Simmons
    PG, Philadelphia Sixers

    Ben Simmons (back) will not play vs. the Hawks on Monday and will continue to undergo testing in Philadelphia.

    Simmons had an MRI on Saturday night and it seems as though things weren't as good as the 76ers would've hoped. Stay tuned for updates regarding the situation but Alex Burks, Furkan Korkmaz, Raul Neto and or course, Joel Embiid, have the most to gain from this.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Jaren Jackson Jr.
    PF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Jaren Jackson Jr. (sprained knee) will be re-evaluated in two weeks after getting injured in Friday's game.

    With JJJ gone, it's basically Brandon Clarke season and if he's somehow available in your league go get him now. On Wednesday Clarke came off of the bench and put up 28 points, six rebounds, two steals and a block on 12-of-14 shooting and there's much more of that on the way.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter