The Minnesota Timberwolves seem to have hit a wall recently and just can't get over the hump as they've dropped five of their last six games. Dropping them below .500 for the first time since March 1st and with every loss, the Wolves' playoff hopes growing dim. Minnesota is now 4th in the Northwest & 11th in Western Conference, currently two games out of the 8th seed.
Minnesota is currently 22-23 on the year and 4-6 in their last ten games. Minnesota is facing a Kings squad that's 15-29 and have gone 3-7 in their last ten games. Tonight's game may be just what the Wolves need to get back on track. Minnesota is 10-11 on the road and Sac-Town is 11-9 at home this season. The Kings clearly better at home than on the road (4-20 on the road).
Following the Wolves' lost to the Lakers on Friday the key to the lost, according to Rick Adelman, was a lack of urgency. The team was playing as though they were down by 20 the whole game, when by the fourth quarter they had cut the lead to single digits.'
The Kings' last game was an impressive & surprising win over the Boston Celtics, 120-95. The Kings had no problem putting away Boston as they got 36 from Thornton (who hit five 3's), 21 from Thompson & 20 from Cousins. Those 120pts were a season-high in points allowed for the Celtics, who are known as a solid defensive squad.
The Kings could be without Tyreke Evans & Francisco Garcia. Both sat out Friday's game vs. Boston. Evans is nursing a left ankle sprain and Garcia was out with a sprained wrist. For Minnesota, Beasley is likely a gametime decision after missing the past two games with that sore big toe.
The teams will likely matchup: Ridnour--Isaiah Thomas, Webster--Marcus Thornton, Johnson--Evans or Salmons, Love--Thompson, Pekovic--Cousins.
The matchup I'm most looking forward to is a rematch of Cousins & Pek. Two of the biggest and strongest guys in the NBA. Watching those two bigs 'bang' in the post was a lot of fun in the last matchup of these two teams. Pekovic showed a bit more of his agility and quickness as he maneuvered in the post with speed, but also with that 290 pound frame.
If the Wolves want to win this one...and for that matter, anymore games this season, they need one thing. BENCH SCORING. I realize that's not the only thing they'll need to be successful, but it's one thing that has been sorely lacking these past few games and without it Minnesota has suddenly dropped out of the playoff picture. A lot of that can be attributed to Michael Beasley's injury. Beas is a go-to scorer of the bench that can create his own shot and when he's 'hot' he can carry a team. If the Wolves want to win they're going to need production from guys like Williams, Barea & Beasley. Some help from the starting lineup (in the scoring department) wouldn't hurt either. It's clear that Wes is a solid defender--the best perimeter defender the Wolves have right now (in my opinion), but he also has the tools to be a great scorer. I'm not saying we need Wes to score 20pts a game, but a consistent effort of 7-10pts a night would REALLY benefit a team in dire need of someone else to step up on the scoring front beyond Love & Pek as well as the usual 10-15 from Ridnour.
Tipoff is set for 5pmCT and a full gameday recap can be found here following the final horn.
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!