UPDATE (10/19 @6:40pmCT): The Wolves will be starting Dante Cunningham at power forward and Greg Stiemsma at center tonight vs. the Bulls. I don't believe Pek is injured, Adelman just wants to get a good look at Stiemsma tonight.
UPDATE (10/17 @4:55pmCT): About three hours after I finished writing this preview and posted it on our site, news broke that Kevin Love will miss the next 6-8 weeks with a broken right hand. You can find that full story under the news section on this site. That obviously changes things, Derrick Williams is now the likely starter at power forward (though I don't know that I'd rule out Dante Cunningham, just yet). You can expect guys like Roy, AK47 and Pek will be asked to do much more now--especially scoring and rebounding.
The Minnesota Timberwolves continue their preseason action Friday night vs. the Chicago Bulls.
The TWolves are coming off a convincing 114-81 win over Maccabi Bazan Haifa Tuesday night at the Target Center. The game before that was vs. the Bulls on Saturday (Oct. 13) at the Target Center. The Wolves took down the Bulls 82-75. However, Chicago was without Richard Hamilton and Luol Deng (and, of course: Derrick Rose).
In that last matchup the Wolves rallied in the fourth quarter, thanks in large part to Alexey Shved's 12-point fourth quarter, that help propel the Wolves to a 7-point win.
The Bulls also had a game on Tuesday night, vs. the Milwaukee Bucks. In that game, the Bulls had Richard Hamilton & Luol Deng back, but starting point guard Kirk Hinrich sat out with a thumb injury. The result in that one was a 6-point, 100-94 win for the Chicago Bulls. Nate Robinson (starting at point guard) had 24 points and 13 assist, Rip added 23 points and Noah finished with 16 points & 12 rebounds. The Bulls are now 2-2 this preseason.
In Minnesota's last matchup (vs. Haifa) Adelman played his starters for some extended minutes (at least compared to the other 3 preseason games). After the game he said it was just because the starters hadn't had much time together. Kevin Love & Andrei Kirilenko finally took the court together and proved (along with Nikola Pekovic) that Minnesota has one of the top frontcourts in the NBA.
Let's take a look at the probable starting lineups...
The stats listed are from each team's last game. The TWolves vs. Maccabi Haifa and Chicago vs. Milwaukee. Nate Robinson is listed as the starting point guard because he started in that game, if Kirk Hinrich is available to play, he'll be the likely starter.
The Bulls are a playoff-bound squad, with or without Derrick Rose. Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson as well as the number of point guard fill-ins: Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson, Marquis Teague will all need to contribute for the Bulls.
The Timberwolves are a potential-playoff team, but a lot of that will depend on the health of the team, Ricky Rubio's return, the Wolves figuring out how to play together on both sides of the ball. Having guys that are actually interested in playing each night out, will help immensely.
Tipoff is set for 7pmCT from the United Center in Chicago. A full gameday recap can be found, right here, following the final horn. Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!