The Wolves are looking to finish the preseason 5-2, while the Bucks will be looking to finish 4-4.
Despite not having Ricky Rubio or Kevin Love (excluding two games) the Wolves have had a pretty good preseason. We've seen good play from Nikola Pekovic, Andrei Kirilenko, Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger and Dante Cunningham. We're certainly not better off without Kevin Love, however we're not 'dead in the water' like some would like you to think. This team should stay afloat (above .500) until Kevin & Ricky can return in mid-November (for Kevin) & mid-December (for Ricky).
The Timberwolves are coming off a 95-76 win over the Detroit Pistons, you can find the full gameday recap of that one, here.
The Bucks' last game came against the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday morning. The result was a 10-point win for the Bucks, 100-90. The Bucks outscored the 'Cats 28-11 in the fourth quarter to seal the W. Tobias Harris started at small forward and led the team in scoring, with 18 points & 5 rebounds and Mike Dunleavy added 17 points & 5 rebounds off the bench.
Rookie forward John Henson sat out on Thursday due to a left knee contusion, no word yet on whether or not he'll be able to play. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is the usual starter at small forward, but he's still recovering from knee surgery and won't be available to play (on Friday).
Let's take a look at the projected starters for each team...
Luke Ridnour (4.7ppg, 1.3rpg, 2.0apg)
Brandon Roy (10.5ppg, 2.7rpg, 2.0apg, 1.2spg)
Chase Budinger (12.2ppg, 3.3rpg, 0.8spg)
Andrei Kirilenko (8.0ppg, 5.8rpg, 2.5apg, 1.5spg)
Nikola Pekovic (11.6ppg, 8.2rpg, 0.2bpg)
Brandon Jennings(14.3ppg, 2.5rpg, 5.3apg, 1.3spg)
Monta Ellis (16.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.3apg, 1.2spg)
Tobias Harris (6.7ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0bpg)
Ersan Ilyasova (12.2ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.8apg, 1.0spg)
Samuel Dalembert (6.5ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.0bpg)
For the Bucks this is the same starting lineup they put out there in their win over the Charlotte Bobcats, I don't expect things to change too much.
All the statistics listed are what each player is averaging during the preseason.
I'm most looking forward to the Timberwolves starting frontcourt. This is the starting 3, 4, 5 that I want to see take the floor on opening night: Chase Budinger, Andrei Kirilenko & Nikola Pekovic. Most say that AK is a better power forward than a small forward. Looking at what he's done thus far at small forward for the Wolves, AK47 should excel at the four. Having Chase's scoring production in the starting lineup should help, but would certainly hurt the second unit, seeing that Chase & AK are the only small forwards on the roster.
Tipoff for this BORDER BATTLE is set for 7pmCT, Friday night and a full gameday recap can be found on this site following the final horn! Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!