Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Game 5 NBA Best Bet: Minnesota Will Look Much Better Today

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Top-rated sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for Game 5 between the Timberwolves and Nuggets. For your best bets, I will recommend investing in the Timberwolves.

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NBA Pick: Timberwolves +4 (-105) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Timberwolves +4 (-105)
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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 – 10:30 PM ET at Ball Arena

Making Sense of Things

It’s tempting to dismiss Minnesota’s chances of winning after it just lost two games at home, but let’s take a step back.

Up 2-0, the Timberwolves had four days to absorb the ubiquitous adulation that the media was lavishing upon them. This is where their youthful inexperience crept in: they could not handle the expectations and pressure.

My point is that Minnesota’s two losses at home showed nothing about its capability of winning Game 5. These two losses will be liberating. They’ll play Game 5 with a more focused effort that replaces conceit with confidence and the feeling of pressure with intensity.

More specifically, better ball movement on offense and more energy on defense that leads to stronger rotations will be features of an overall better effort from the Timberwolves.

Over- and Underperformers

My main point here is that, in Game 4, Denver won by eight despite showing its very best at the same time that Minnesota looked bad overall.

Before the series began, Minnesota’s bench was expected to be a strength. In Denver, we saw what it can do.

On the other side, Nuggets bench players overperformed in Game 4. The team as a whole overperformed – its efficiency was ridiculous. Nikola Jokic shot beyond himself inside the arc, defusing Minnesota’s interior congestion with an unusually efficient mid-range game. Aaron Gordon was even more ridiculous.

Conversely, for the Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns and Nickeil Alexander-Walker let them down, although we’ve seen that Towns – who was distracted on Mother’s Day on what is an emotional occasion for him personally – can handle Gordon’s on-ball defense and that Alexander-Walker can perform much better offensively.


Minnesota is going to make adjustments, which will be easier by Denver’s upcoming decline in shooting efficiency.

The Timberwolves cannot double Jokic so much. They seemed to know this in the first two games in Denver. They have to force him to try to be a scorer instead of a passer who gets his teammates going. One strategy, though, should still leave Gordon open.

Four-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert will want to help off of Gordon, as he characteristically likes to function as a roamer who executes effective help-side defense. Historically, Gordon tends to decline in a game following a strong performance.

One should expect the Timberwolves to make effective adjustments because they have not lost three games in a row all year: they excel at righting the ship.

Offense and Defense

In Minnesota, Denver’s defense looked much better than it is.

The Nuggets relied on star Anthony Edwards’ supporting cast being non-impactful, such that they could practically defend five-on-three. With the supporting cast playing closer to its capabilities, the Timberwolves become stronger as an entire offensive unit. Whereas bad offense often bleeds into bad defense, good offense gives players the confidence and energy to defend tightly.

Minnesota might do some more switching on ball screens, but the main thing is to intensify ball pressure on Jamal Murray and to limit Jokic’s capacity as the roll man. We saw Minnesota do these things very well in Denver.

The Timberwolves do have excellent on-ball defenders, including Jaden McDaniels, who looked excellent against Phoenix star Devin Booker, and Alexander-Walker, who looked great against the likes of Bradley Beal.

These are defenders who have cultivated a well-deserved reputation and who remain capable of making Murray uncomfortable and undercutting his rapport with Jokic.


Even if Michael Porter Jr. wakes up for Denver, the bench will be a strength for Minnesota again, and Karl-Anthony Towns especially will bounce back, returning to his characteristic efficiency.

Stronger defense, produced by greater effort and perhaps some adjustments, from the Timberwolves will complement their improved offense by again limiting Denver’s scoring output.

NBA Pick: Timberwolves +4 (-105) at BetOnline

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Timberwolves +4 (-105)
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