The Minnesota Timberwolves are down--but aren't quite out of the Western Conference playoff picture. With last night's loss to the Blazers, the TWolves have fallen to 5th in the Northwest Division and 12th in the Western Conference. The TWolves now trail Houston 3.5 games for the 8th seed in the playoffs.
"We've got to win almost every game now, so it's still there for us, but we need a tremendous amount of luck on our side as well."--Kevin Love
A win against the Kings would be a small step in the right direction. A loss would be yet another big blow to Minnesota's playoff hopes.The Timberwolves currently sit at 25-29, 12-16 on the road, but 3-7 in their last 10 games. Sacramento is 18-34 on the year, 13-12 at home and 4-6 in their last 10.This will be the fourth and final meeting between these two this season. Minnesota has taken two of those three games as they go for the series win this season. The first game came Jan. 16th--a 99-86 Wolves win. The second was on Feb. 7th, an 86-84 Wolves win. The third came on Mar. 18th when the Kings were able to take down MIN 99-115.
For Minnesota they'll continue to play without key players. They'll once again be without J.J. Barea & Michael Beasley. Who are back home nursing thigh (J.J.) and toe (Beasley) injuries. Hopefully they'll be able to play on Wednesday, back at the Target Center vs. the Warriors. We may see starting center for the first time in a long time. Pek has now missed 7 consecutive games and 8 of the Wolves' last 9 with ankle injuries. He's currently dealing with some bone spurs in his right ankle. There's a chance he'll be able to play tonight and he'll be a gametime decision for this one. He'd be a big help for the Wolves vs. center DeMarcus Cousins.
For the Kings, they may be without swingman John Salmons. Salmons has missed three straight games with a hip injury and he's currently listed as day-to-day and will likely be a gametime decision for this one.
Let's take a look at tonight's probable starting lineup matchups...
Luke Ridnour vs. Isaiah Thomas (10.6ppg, 3.7apg, 0.8spg)
Martell Webster vs. Marcus Thornton (19.0ppg, 2.0apg, 1.4spg)
Wesley Johnson vs. Tyreke Evans (17.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 4.8apg)
Derrick Williams vs. Jason Thompson (8.8ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.2apg)
Kevin Love vs. DeMarcus Cousins (17.7ppg, 11.1rpg, 1.3bpg)
If Pek is able to play, he'd start at center, moving D-Will to the bench and Love to power forward. Pekovic vs. Cousins is an exciting matchup and I pray he'll be able to play. A matchup of Love & Cousins would be good in itself. Love has played 2 of 3 games vs. the Kings this season and has averages of 27.0ppg & 11.0rpg. Cousins has played in all three games this season vs. Minnesota and has REALLY struggled in three games his totals are 29 points, 16 rebounds, 10-of-29 FG and in all three games hasn't played more than 25 minutes while totaling 13 fouls in three games.
AccuScore has Minnesota as the 52%-48% favorites. It's Kings by 3.5 and an over/under of 217.0.
Tipoff is set for 9pmCT from the Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento.
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!