Two of the NBA's surprises of the season, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Orlando Magic, face off in a cross-conference matchup on Tuesday, January 9.
This game features two of the league's best defensive teams who like to grind down their opponents. Minnesota allows the fewest points per game and blocks the sixth-most shots, while Orlando allows the 11th-fewest points per game, makes the sixth-most steals, and causes the third-most turnovers.
Plus, the Magic draw the most fouls in the league. But the Jamahl Mosley-coached team is dealing with injuries to contributors in Franz Wagner, Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles, Gary Harris, and Wendell Carter Jr.
While Orlando get to the line frequently, Minnesota's offensive strength is their three-point percentage of 38.0, the NBA's fifth-best.
The Magic are led by Paolo Banchero's 23.1 points per game, but they will miss the injured Franz Wagner, who averages 20.9 points. The T-Wolves are led by Anthony Edwards' 26.8 points per game.
The battle in the paint could decide this game, as 7-footers Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns are two of Minnesota's best players and Orlando will have to cope without Isaac, their second-leading shot-blocker.
|Kia Center, Orlando, FL
|7 PM ET, Tuesday, January 9
|How to watch
|NBA League Pass
Timberwolves: Jaylen Clark (Achilles, out)
Magic: Wendell Carter Jr. (knee, out), Gary Harris (calf, out), Joe Ingles (ankle, out), Jonathan Isaac (hamstring, out), Franz Wagner (ankle, out)
The T-Wolves and the Magic have played a total of 67 times, with the Magic winning 43 times and the T-Wolves winning 24 times. Tuesday night's game will be the first game of the season between these two teams, and they face off again in Minnesota on February 2.
Odds displayed in this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.