Will Karl-Anthony Towns Play Tonight? Portland Trail Blazers vs Minnesota Timberwolves: Injury Updates, Expected Lineups, and Game Prediction

Published 01/07/2021, 2:30 PM EST
Jan 5, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots against Chicago Bulls guard Garrett Temple (17) during the second half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA returns with Western Conference action tonight as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Minnesota Timberwolves. Both teams are struggling at the moment, but the Timberwolves are in a worse spot. They have lost five consecutive games, whereas the Blazers have lost their last two. Tonight, they face off at the Moda Center at 10 pm EST.

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Portland Trail Blazers expected lineup

The Trail Blazers will continue to miss Rodney Hood, who suffered a quad injury. He has missed their last two games and is unlikely to return in time for tonight’s clash. So the Blazers will miss his scoring off the bench.

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Jan 1, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum (3) passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Their lineup has been unchanged so far, and it will stay the same tonight. So they will start with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum as the guards, Robert Covington and Derrick Jones Jr as the forwards, and Jusuf Nurkic as the center.

Minnesota Timberwolves expected lineup

The Timberwolves won their first two games with Karl-Anthony Towns, but lost every game since he injured his wrist. Unfortunately for them, he is going to miss tonight’s clash as well. Josh Okogie will also miss his fourth game in a row due to a hamstring injury.

Dec 23, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) hugs guard D’Angelo Russell (0) following the game against the Detroit Pistons at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

So they will have an unchanged lineup from their last game. D’Angelo Russell will start alongside Malik Beasley as the guards, Jarrett Culver and Juancho Hernangomez will start as the forwards, and Ed Davis will be their starting center. Fans will be eager to see rookie Anthony Edwards first start, but so far Beasley’s excellent form has kept him out.

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Predictions

With the Timberwolves struggling at this rate, it isn’t tough to pick the Blazers as the winners. Although the Blazers have had their own struggles, the Timberwolves don’t have the defense to stop Lillard and McCollum. It could be a big scoring night for both of them, who will be eager to redeem themselves for the Bulls’ loss.

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The Blazers grew stronger in the off-season, but they are not playing up to their expectations so far. Their next four games are all winnable, and they should aim to make the best out of the opportunity to build a solid playoff spot.

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Aaron Mathew

1474 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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