The Minnesota Timberwolves are on a nasty skid that bears parallels to last season's 15-game skid. The Timberwolves were are on a 11-game losing streak and with just 3 games left in the season, the opportunities to snap the skid this season are few.
The Timberwolves are currently 25-38 on the year, 12-20 on the road, 0-10 in their last 10 games and are riding a 11-game losing streak and have been eliminated from the NBA playoffs. The Detroit Pistons are 23-38 on the season, 16-14 at home, 5-5 in their last 10 games and have also been eliminated from the postseason.
Let's take a look at each team's last five games...
Sure, it can be seen as technically a meaningless game, but the Timberwolves desperately need the win. It's gotten out of hand. With the injuries piling up and the losses following, meaningless game by playoff-standards or not, this game means A LOT to Minnesota, it's players, the coaches and fans.
Luke Ridnour & Kevin Love won't play vs. the Pistons. Love started the NBA's mandated concussion tests today (Wed.). Both hope to return for the Wolves' two remaining games (Sun. 4/22 vs. GSW & Thurs. 4/26 vs. DEN). Darko won't play again this season (last game was he played in was on 3/18) I'd say it's safe to say that Darko has played his last game as a Minnesota Timberwolf and potentially an NBA player. The Wolves will likely look to trade him this offseason, but more likely--he'll be amnestied in July.
With Luke & Kevin still out, the play from J.J. Barea & Nikola Pekovic will continue to be Minnesota's only chance to end this skid. We'll still need contributions from guys like Beasley, Williams, Randolph, Tolliver etc. but those two guys are the keys (15pts & 10reb from Pek & 15pts & 10ast from J.J.). J.J. has started 8 games since Ridnour went down and in that time he's averaging 16.1ppg & 9.1apg.
The Pistons' last game was a 116-77 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pistons shot 60% from the field in the game, while the Cavs shot just 35%. After three quarters, the score was 100-50! Brandon Knight had a career-high 28pts, Tayshaun Prince added 15pts & Jonas Jerebko had another 14pts off the bench. The Pistons also play tonight (Wed.) vs. the Atlanta Hawks.
This, of course means that the Pistons will be playing their third game in three nights. That would seem to play into Minnesota favor...let's hope!
Let's get a look at the probable starting lineups for each team...
The Timberwolves won the last matchup of these two teams, 93-85. Kevin Love had 20pts & 17reb in that game and Tolliver, Pekovic & Johnson each added 11pts apiece. The Pistons got 29pts from Prince and another 18pts from Ben Gordon. After that game, Minnesota moved to 6-8 on the season.
The Pistons are currently the 3rd-worst offense in the NBA (at 91.0ppg), 4th-worst rebounding team in the NBA (at 40.0rpg), 2nd-worst assisting team in the NBA (at 18.7apg), and lastly they rank 15th in the NBA in points allowed (at 95.8 a game).
Tipoff is set for 6:30pmCT from the Palace at Auburn Hills. Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!