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NBA Playoffs 2024: Timberwolves Vs. Suns Preview and Prediction

Kevin Durant and Anthony Edwards are key players in the Suns and Timberwolves series.

The Suns-Timberwolves is one of the most intriguing first-round matchups. The Timberwolves took the league by storm and surpassed all expectations en route to earning the three-seed. While the Suns’ season was largely filled with disappointment they were projected to be a top-three team but narrowly avoided the Play-In Tournament. Nevertheless, their talent can’t be ignored and Phoenix is even slight favorites to win the series according to DraftKings. Let’s dive into this series look at the best NBA bet for this series. 

NBA Playoffs 2024: Timberwolves Vs. Suns Preview and Prediction

Regular Season Meetings 

In the regular season, the Suns went a perfect 3-0 against the Timberwolves. Impressively winning all three games by at least 10 points including a 19-point victory on the last game of the regular season. The Suns’ elite shot creation from Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal pose a difficult matchup for the Timberwolves. Given the results from the regular season the Suns might be perfectly suited to take down the Timberwolves. Additionally, in the regular season games, Anthony Edwards averaged just 14 points per game. Far below his 25.9 season average.

The Timberwolves need star-level production out of Edwards or this series is already a sealed deal. During their regular season matchups, the Timberwolves shot just 28 percent from three while the Suns shot 47 percent. On the year Minnesota shot 38.7 percent from beyond the arc which ranks top three in the league and just a notch above the Suns. It could be argued simply the three-point disparity evening out and Edwards playing at a star-level will be enough for the Timberwolves to win the series.


The Suns have the 8th-ranked offense in the league compared to the Timberwolves 16th-ranked offense. While this doesn’t appear to be the biggest gap, the Suns’ trio of elite shot creators adds to this disparity. Outside of Edwards the Timberwolves don’t have many elite creators and will have trouble matching the Suns’ elite offensive production. This is especially true considering that Karl-Anthony Towns has only played in two games post-injury. In both games his play wasn’t up to his elite standards averaging just 10 ppg on poor shooting from the field. 

The Suns’ elite perimeter play and three-point shooting is a matchup nightmare for Minnesota even despite their top-ranked defense. The Suns’ are second in the league in mid-range attempts.  As a result they can exploit the Timberwolves’ defense which focuses on stopping rim pressure and perimeter shots while giving up more mid-range shots. The Suns’ elite mid-range scoring notably will neutralize Rudy Gobert’s defensive impact.

The Suns have their playoff experience gives them another massive advantage. Durant and Booker have more playoff experience than this young Timberwolves team. Last year Durant averaged 29 ppg, 8.7 rpg, and 5.5 apg while Booker averaged 33.7, 7.2 apg, and 4.8 rpg. This level of scoring and history of being elite playoff performers makes the KD and Booker duo an impossible matchup. 


From a matchup perspective, the Suns’ floor spacing is challenging for a bigger Timberwolves squad. Based on regular-season meetings Edwards will likely draw the Durant matchup while Jaden McDaniels will likely defend Booker. However, McDaniels will likely guard Durant more during this series especially considering his elite length and size.

The real problem for the Timberwolves is that one of the bigs will have to guard either Beal or Grayson Allen.  Gobert will defend Jusuf Nurkic and provide necessary rim protection so Towns will likely guard Allen. This perimeter matchup is tough for Towns and could lead to Allen who is one of the league’s best shooters getting more open looks. Sixth-man Naz Reid will also have to defend the perimeter more often than he’s used to. Furthermore, Mike Conley will likely have to guard Beal which is a mismatch based on Conley’s size and age. Ultimately this could create several problems for the Timberwolves defense and gives the Suns a massive advantage. On the Suns’ defensive side, Durant can easily match up with one of Minnesota’s big likely Towns. They also have the wing personnel throw multiple looks at Edwards which was effective during the regular season.

Minnesota’s Path To Win

While the Suns’ advantages are clear you can’t count out the Timberwolves. Throughout the year the Timberwolves were in a three-way race for the number one seed. If Towns was fully healthy there’s a good chance that the Timberwolves would be the one seed right now. Additionally, their top-ranked defense can swing a series even if the matchup is not ideal.

Defensively the Timberwolves will have to constantly switch up looks and slow down the gameIf Minnesota can set the tone and control the series with stifling defense and slow pace that’s a series they can win. However, finding creative ways to neutralize the Suns’ perimeter play will be key for the Timberwolves defense to have this level of impact. Similarly, the Timberwolves have to turn their size and physicality into a positive. The Timberwolves will use their size both at the rim and rebounding, especially during the non-Nurkic minutes. Even if they give up a lot on the perimeter Minnesota can make this size positive and punish the smaller Phoenix. Overall this gives the Timberwolves a possible advantage and path to win. 

The Last Word

This series has everything you could ask for in a first-round matchup and it has upset written all over it. The Suns have almost every advantage in this matchup and the Towns’ health makes it more challenging for Minnesota. Regardless, the Timberwolves are an incredibly talented team and will make this a competitive series.  The Suns’ offense and perimeter play are perfectly suited to neutralize the Timberwolves’ elite defense. Ultimately the matchup advantages the Suns have in this series can’t be ignored. 

Final Prediction: Suns in 6  


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