Two teams will meet Thursday night at the Target Center following Wednesday night games. One team won their Wednesday night game, the other got the loss. One team will be playing at near full-strength, the other...to say their roster is 'depleted' is being kind. One team is on their way to the playoffs, the other? Lottery-bound...in a draft that they don't have a pick in (unless Utah makes the playoffs). If you've watched any games these past couple weeks, you know, Minnesota lost last night to Denver, in a game where we may have lost Kevin Love for a number of games with a 'mild concussion' and 'sprained neck'. We still haven't been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs (would have happened had the Suns beat the Grizzlies), but that's in the very near future.
I have to make this quick, so I apologize for rushing through.
The Timberwolves have won three of the last four meetings between these two teams, however tonight will be a 'different ballgame'. We won't have the same marquee matchup of Kevin Love vs. Blake Griffin for the battle of the best power forward in the NBA. With Love definitely out with a concussion, he adds to an injury report that also has Luke Ridnour, likely out. Luke has missed the past four games with a sprained ankle.
For the Clippers they may be without backup point guard Mo Williams, who has missed the past couple games with a toe injury, that leaves Eric Bledsoe & Nick Young as the main backups in the backcourt.
The Timberwolves currently sit at 25-34 on the year, 13-15 at home, 2-8 in their last 10 games and are on a season-worst 7-game losing streak, as well as losers of 15 of their last 19 games. The Los Angeles Clippers are currently 35-23 on the year, 14-14 on the road and 8-2 in their last 10 games. The Clippers also currently sit at the 4th seed in the Western Conference, they're 2.5 games out of 3rd (L.A. Lakers) and are just 0.5 game(s) ahead of the 5th seed (Memphis).
Here's the last five games for each team...
The likely starting lineups will be...
Ridnour/Barea vs. Chris Paul
Martell Webster vs. Randy Foye
Wesley Johnson vs. Caron Butler
Derrick Williams vs. Blake Griffin
Nikola Pekovic vs. DeAndre Jordan
I still think this will be a great matchup, despite the absence of Love. There's A LOT of 'slack' that needs to be picked up on the offensive end, but last night vs. the Nuggets, the TWolves showed that there are players on this team that are fully capable of scoring the basketball.
Again, I apologize, but I'll have to end this here. Tipoff is set for 7pmCT from the Target Center tonight (4/12).
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!