The Phoenix Suns try to make a late playoff run, and to do so they must run through the Minnesota Timberwolves. Having just taken down the Lakers, NBA odds makers now favor the Suns tonight, but should NBA bettors fall for this trap?

The Phoenix Suns (29-27) are currently 9th in the Western Conference Playoff race but are just .5 game behind Denver and 1.5 games behind Dallas. The spots are there for the taking while their opponent tonight, the Minnesota Timberwolves (25-32), have taken themselves out of playoff contention losing 5 straight games.

This matchup is set to tip off at 9:00 pm ET at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota and can be seen on ESPN 2.

The Squeeze

The Suns are coming off of a huge 125-105 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers which has greatly enhanced their chances their chances of making the playoffs. The Western Conference race is an interesting one as not much seperates the 5th position from the 11th, and for the teams in these spsitions still have much to play for.

The Suns victory over the Lakers has made an impression on the NBA odds makers as they’re a 3 point road favorite against against formidable teams such as the Timberwolves. The total for the game has been set at 209.5.

Should NBA bettors follow the lead of the NBA lines makers, or has that win over a Kobe-less Lakers team inflated the line? Find out who we are backing with our NBA picks tonight.

No love for Love?

Kevin LoveThe Minnesota Timberwolves are 3rd in rebounding and 7th in scoring, and Kevin Love is a major reason why they excel in each ofthese categories. The Wolves have all but taken themselves out of the playoff race with a 5 game losing streak, but if this was a winning team, Kevin Love would be in the mix for the NBA MVP Award. Lebron James will most likely win it, and playing on a winning team such as the Miami Heat doesn’t hurt his cause.

At 6 foot 10, 260 lbs, Kevin Love has been an absolute killer on the court and putting up huge numbers. if you’re a fantasy league player, it’s mandatory to have Love on your team as he is ultra-consistent and productive.

On the season, Love is averaging 26.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. There’s no let up with Kevin Love. It doesn’t matter if the opposition is the Miami Heat or the New Orleans Hornets, Love is going to have a big game and that’s a major concern for the Phoenix Suns here. 

Rebounding from injury

Two key players for the Timberwolves are center Nikola Pekovic and small forward Michael Beasley. Without these players, the Wolves suffered some losses and have been virtually knocked out of the playoff race, but still expect them to play to win.

Returning from injury, Beasley had a 20 point, 7 rebound performance in a loss against New Orleans. Pekovic has played the last 3 games and has averaged 12.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per game.

Nikola Pekovic is a player that plays with major energy and enthusiasm. I expect him to bring a full effort every game but my question is “are the Wolves just tanking it” after a loss to the New Orleans Hornets?

Slaying the dragon?

The Phoenix Suns are coming off a major win against the Los Angeles Lakers, winning by 20 points. If you didn’t watch the game or look at the boxscore, you have to remember that Kobe Bryant didn’t play. 

The Suns were led by Shannon Brown and Michael Redd with 24 and 23 points respectively and it was a good win. This is the kind of game that can be deceiving without Bryant playing, and not to mention the fact that the Suns did allow all 5 Lakers starters to score in double figures including Metta World-Peace. If Metta can drop 19 points on a team, you have a problem.

Polish power

Steven NashCenter Marcin Gortat is no Kevin Love but he’s been nothing but sensational for the Phoenix Suns. Gortat will need to come up big on the defensive end and keep the combination of Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic in check. This would greatly enhance the Suns chances of winning and tightening up the playoff race that much more. Every game is precious and expect Gortat, who averages 16 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks, to play big in this game.

The clock is ticking

The hourglass is running low, and Steve Nash’s chances of winning an NBA Title seem remote.

Never doubt the effort and heart of Steve Nash as he continues to put up double-doubles on a game to game basis. Nash got to rest a bit at the end of a blowout of the Lakers and you can expect him to go “full blast” in this game as he can smell the playoffs. This was a Phoenix team that was supposed to be going home after the regular season.    

Outcome of the game

The Timberwolves have packed up the tent after losing 5 consecutive games. Their moral can’t be high where as Phoenix’s moral is sky high with a lot to play for. Saying that, containing Love, Beasley, and Pekovic will be a difficult task. Look for Phoenix to slip out of the Target Center with a “W”.

NBA Pick - Phoenix ML