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NBA Basketball Picks: Milwaukee vs. Minnesota Prediction: November 30th 2012

NBA Basketball Picks: November 30th 2012
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Prediction: Minnesota Timberwolves -2
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Both Milwaukee and Minnesota started hot. The Bucks opened 6-2. The Timberwolves won five of their first seven. Since then, though, the Bucks have dropped four of their last five. Milwaukee’s lone victory during this span came against the Bulls, 93-92, when the Bucks rallied from 27 points down in the third quarter. The Timberwolves are 1-6 in their past seven games.

So why get involved with either of these two fading teams right now?

The answer is that Minnesota has more going in this matchup. This the Timberwolves’ lone home game during a seven-game span. This is Minnesota’s first game back from a four-game West Coast trip that concluded on Wednesday. Sometimes a first game back from an extended trip can be tough both mentally and physically. But the Timberwolves have had a full day to recuperate. They were 2-0 last season when returning home from a trip of three games or more.

Part of Minnesota’s skid stemmed from injuries. The Timberwolves are far from fully healthy, but their guard rotation is shored up with J.J. Barea back. Kevin Love’s hand is improving every game. Love is an absolute rebounding and scoring monster. The Bucks won’t be able to do anything about him.

The Bucks have yet to get consistent play from their front-court players and swingman Mike Dunleavy is in a shooting slump. Ersan Ilyasova had a break-out season last year for Milwaukee, but hasn’t been able to sustain it. He’s been so bad that Scott Skiles has removed him from the starting lineup. The Bucks’ frontline is composed of inexperience, castoffs and role players, none of whom can do anything to stop Love.

The Bucks lost 102-88 to New York this past Wednesday at home. Milwaukee’s starting frontcourt scored the grand total of two points. The Bucks are averaging 89 points in their last three games. That’s a drop off of 12 points a game from their first 10 games.

Rick Adelman has improved the Timberwolves with a full training camp. Minnesota’s defense is way under-the-radar as the Timberwolves are giving up the sixth-fewest points per game at 93.1. They also rank ninth in defensive field goal percentage at 43.7 percent.

The Bucks get their scoring from their starting backcourt of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings.They are averaging a combined 35 points per game. However, neither shoots well from the floor. Jennings is shooting 42.2 percent from the floor while Ellis is at 41.3 percent and is hitting just 18 percent from 3-point range.

Home-court is important, too, in this matchup. The Bucks usually don’t play well at Target Center. This is reflected in them losing 10 of their last 12 visits to Minneapolis.

(Editor’s note: Stephen Nover is one of the hottest ‘cappers in the planet going 15-4-1 on his last 20 NBA plays. Stephen has a strong Friday play going today – his Top of the Ticket. Stephen also has his College Football Chalk Play of the Month going on Saturday. Check back for Stephen’s NFL as Stephen is killing it in pro football, too, going 26-11-4 after cashing his Thursday Game of the Year with the Falcons.