Back-to-back games for the first time, of many this season--in fact it's the first of sixteen total! Obviously the Timberwolves are coming off that 100-104 loss to the Thunder last night at the Target Center. A full gameday recap of that game can be found in the previous post under our "Gameday" section!
Tonight's game vs. Milwaukee will be their third time the Wolves have played them in the last 10 days; with two preseason games on the 17th & 21st of December.
Both these teams have started their seasons off 0-1. The Bucks were defeated last night as well--losing to the Charlotte Bobcats by just one point; 95-96 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. A Bobcat backcourt of rookie Kemba Walker & D.J. Augustin scored the final seven points of the game for Charlotte that helped hold off a late surge by the Bucks to seal the victory. In the game, Brandon Jennings had 22 points and big man Andrew Bogut added 17 as well as 9 rebounds, they also got a lift from their bench as former Bobcat Shaun Livingston had 14pts, 6ast & Beno Udrih added 13.
The success of that Kemba-D.J. backcourt for Charlotte last night, opens a big door for extended playing time together for Ricky Rubio & J.J. Barea. A backcourt that is not only very fun to watch--but also very effective!
The PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS for tomorrows game
Luke Ridnour & Brandon Jennings
Wesley Johnson & Mike Dunleavy
Michael Beasley & Stephen Jackson
Kevin Love & Ersan Ilyasova
Darko Milicic & Andrew Bogut
It'll be the same starting lineup for Minnesota that they used in their lost to Oklahoma City. I will say, based on Rubio's performance; it won't be long till he cracks that starting lineup! Not long at all... Some other notes: This was the starting lineup the Bucks used against Charlotte last night, so I simply assume they'll trot out the same starting five, though it could obviously--easily change! Stephen Jackson played just 17 minutes in last nights game scoring just 6 points. Hopefully he continues to "struggle", because when he's on he can carry a team!
This is the first & last game for the Timberwolves against their border rivals this season. It could also, potentially, be the Timberwolves' 17th-straight regular season loss, which would be a new franchise record for consecutive losses. Not very fair, considering this is a completely different squad compared to last seasons--especially during those final fifteen games!
The key players Minnesota will need to keep an eye on...or rather: a hand in their face. Mike Dunleavy: if you don't cover him, he'll hit shots and make you pay--plain and simple. He looked VERY good in the Wolves' two preseason games, he had 13 for MIL in their loss last night. Brandon Jennings: A quick versatile guard, who is a solid scorer and a lot of fun to watch when he's "on". If he gets going, Ridnour & Rubio will have their hands full. Both guards as well as Barea did a pretty good job on Westbrook last night--he did have 28pts, but he also had those 7 turnovers! Andrew Bogut: I've liked what I've seen from Darko in these three games this season (two preseason, one reg. season), when motivated Darko could potentially be an All-Star (no joke), if Darko has a good game--Bogut won't! Stephen Jackson: He didn't practice all training camp and was thrown into his first action on the 21st of Dec. against Minnesota. He's a good player, but he's in a new system, with a new coach, and a new crop of teammates--it's going to take a while!
The two preseason games, less than a week ago, had the Timberwolves with a 117-96 win and a narrow 85-84 win. Hopefully they'll build off those two successful games and get their first win of the season, tonight at the Bradley Center! (you can find the full gameday recaps of the two preseason games in previous posts under the Gameday section of our site!)
A big key to tonight's victory: hitting three-point shots. In that first preseason game vs. Milwaukee, the Timberwolves shot 15-for-24 from deep and blew the doors off Milwaukee 117-96. In the second preseason game they connected on 6-of-15 and escaped with a narrow one-point victory. And of course, last night: the Timberwolves shot 3-for-22 from deep and lost in a close four-point game! A big key to this offense is most definitely those three-point shots!
FINAL NOTES: Rick Adelman will not be at the game tomorrow as he has to go to a funeral for his mother-in-law. Assistant Coach Terry Porter will be the head coach for the game....Nikola Pekovic missed yesterday's game vs. OKC with a groin injury and is expected to miss today's as well.....
That's all for now, you can expect a full gameday recap following the final horn of tonight's game. Tipoff is set for 7:30pmCT tomorrow from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee Wisconsin! Lastly, if you haven't already you can find the recap, stats & pictures on our site from last night's game (under the 'gameday', 'stats', & media-pictures' section(s) of our site). Hope you had a Happy Holidays! Thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!