Los Angeles Clippers (19-7) at Minnesota Timberwolves (10-14)
NBA: Friday, December 13th, 2019 at 9:30 pm ET (Target Center)
Line and Odds: Los Angeles Clippers -5.5 Over/Under: 230.5
Free ESPN NBA Picks Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers rank 4th in net rating, outscoring opponents by 7.0 points per 100 possessions. Los Angeles ranks 8th in offensive rating, putting up 111.2 points per 100 possessions. The Clippers’ offensive production doesn’t revolve around their shooting from the field. They rank 17th in effective field goal percentage, shooting for an eFG% of 52.0%. They are 14th in 2-point shooting percentage and 17th in 3-point shooting percentage. Their top 10 offensive ranking comes from their offensive rebounding and free throw production. Los Angeles ranks 1st in offensive rebound percentage, securing 25.1% of the offensive rebounds available to them. The Clippers hit 19.8 free throws per 100 possessions, the 2nd-highest mark in the NBA.
Los Angeles ranks 6th in defensive rating, allowing 104.2 points per 100 possessions. The strength of their defensive unit is their shooting defense. The Clippers rank 3rd in effective field goal defense, forcing teams to shoot for an eFG% of 49.2%. Los Angeles’ defense ranks 3rd in opponent 2-point field goal percentage and 10th in opponent 3-point field goal percentage. With perimeter defenders like Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverly, and Paul George, their 3-point defense should get even better as the season goes on. The other facets of their defense aren’t quite as strong. Los Angeles ranks 16th in defensive turnover percentage, forcing turnovers on 13.2% of their opponents’ offensive plays. Also, they don’t rebound on the defensive end as well as they do on offense. The Clippers rank 18th in defensive rebound percentage, snagging 78.1% of the defensive rebounds available to them. Los Angeles also gives up a high amount of free throw opportunities to the opponent. The Clippers allow 24.2 free throw attempts per 100 possessions, a mark that ranks them 21st in that statistic.
The Minnesota Timberwolves rank 21st in net rating, getting outscored by 3.1 points per 100 possessions. Minnesota ranks 13th in offensive rating, scoring 109.4 points per 100 possessions. It appears that the offense is the strength of this Minnesota team. It is an offense that’s built similarly to the Clippers’ offense. They don’t shoot that well from the field, but they rebound and hit their free throws. The T’Wolves rank 23rd in effective field goal percentage, shooting for an eFG% of 51.5%. Minnesota hits 52.6% of their two point attempts (9th in the NBA), but just 33.3% of their 3-point attempts (27th in the NBA). Karl-Anthony Towns’ rebounding prowess creates opportunities for 2nd chance shot attempts. Minnesota ranks 6th in offensive rebound percentage, grabbing 23.7% of the offensive rebounds available to them. Minnesota hits 19.3 free throws per 100 possessions, which is the 7th highest-mark in the NBA. They are 6th in terms of free throw attempt rate and free throws attempted per 100 possessions. Head coach Ryan Saunders wants to see his team running up-and-down the court with a fast tempo, shooting a lot of free throws, and attempting a high rate of 3 point attempts.
Minnesota ranks 22nd in defensive rating, giving up 112.5 points per 100 possessions. The Timberwolves rank 18th in opponent effective field goal percentage, forcing opponents to shoot for an eFG% of 52.9%. They have proven to be better defenders against the 2-point shot than the 3-point shot. Minnesota ranks 14th in opponent 2-point percentage (51.4%), but 24th in opponent 3-point percentage (37.2%). Minnesota’s defense gives up a high rate of field goal attempts and free throw attempts because they struggle with forcing turnovers and defensive rebounds. The Timberwolves rank 24th in defensive turnover percentage, forcing turnovers on 12.3% of their opponents’ offensive plays. Despite having a stat-stuffer like Karl-Anthony Towns at the Center position, Minnesota ranks 22nd in defensive rebound percentage. Because of these two factors, the T’Wolves rank 21st in field goal attempts given up per 100 possessions and 19th in free throw attempts allowed per 100 possessions.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
LA Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of LA Clippers’ last 5 games.
LA Clippers are 2-7 SU in their last 9 games against Minnesota.
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota’s last 5 games.
Minnesota is 0-6 SU in their last 6 games.
Minnesota is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games at home.
ESPN NBA Scores Los Angeles Clippers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
I like the Los Angeles Clippers at -5.5 in this matchup. The Clippers are ascending while the Timberwolves are on the decline. Los Angeles started off 7-5 in their first 12 games. As the Clippers have developed more chemistry and gotten Paul George on the floor, they have kicked into a higher gear. In their last 14 games, Los Angeles has gone 12-2 (often winning by double digits). On the other side, the T’Wolves have struggled in the past couple of weeks. After an impressive 7-4 start, Minnesota has pulled back in a significant way. Over their last 13 games, the Timberwolves have gone 3-10. They are currently on a 6 game losing streak. Each of their last 6 losses have come by 7 points or more. Minnesota has even had a hard time winning at home as they’ve lost their last 6 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. I feel comfortable predicting the Los Angeles Clippers to cover the -5.5 here.