Let's get the RUNDOWN...
1.) In their first meeting was at the Target Center and the Wolves won 99-82 on Jan. 1st. The second was on Jan. 25 in Dallas--on the day the Mavs got their championship rings--the Wolves won that one as well: 105-90. A recap of both those games can be found in previous posts on our site--easily accessible if you click on the "Dallas Mavericks" link under the categories section--to the right of this post.
2.) Although the Timberwolves have defeated the Mavericks twice this season--Dallas still holds the better record. The Mavericks are 15-11 this season, while the Wolves are 13-13. The TWolves will be playing at home and are currently 7-8 at the Target Center this season--they'll have a chance to move to .500 at home on Friday! The Mavs are obviously playing on the road and are 6-6 away from Dallas this season.
3.) News broke on Thursday that both Kevin Love & Dirk Nowitzki will be representing the Western Conference as reserve forwards at the All-Star game later this month in Orlando. Let's be honest though--Kevin Love deserved his spot (likely even the starting forward spot)--while Dirk shouldn't be an All-Star. His performance this season has been the worst of his career and he even admitted before the selections that he believed he didn't deserve to be an All-Star this season. Clearly, this selection was based on prior accomplishments--not this season!
4.) The Timberwolves' last game was an 80-85 loss at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies. They were without Kevin Love who was serving the second game of his two game suspension--so obviously the good news is that Love will be back! It was just a disappointing game through-and-through! You can find a full gameday recap of that one in the previous post under the "Gameday" section.
5.) The Mavericks' last game was a 105-95 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. The last time the Wolves played the Mavs they were without Dirk Nowitzki & Vince Carter. They'll be back--AND they had great games vs. the Nuggets on Wednesday. Dirk had 25pts, 9rebs, 3ast, 1stl, 1blk and shot 11-for-20 from the field. Carter had 17pts, 5rebs, 8ast, 2stls, 1blk, and shot 7-for-12 from the field. In that game Dallas had a solid shooting night: 49% from the field (44-90), grabbed 46rebs and had 30ast. With Dirk's 25pts he also moved up to 21st on the all-time NBA scoring list, passing Adrian Dantley!
6.) Before the Timberwolves' loss to the Grizzlies on Wednesday they were riding a three-game winning streak (@NJN, vs. HOU, vs. SAC). Before the Mavericks' win over the Denver Nuggets they were on a three-game losing streak (vs. OKC, vs. IND, @CLE).
7.) It'll be the battle of two All-Star forwards. Both Love & Dirk are the team's best players. Clearly, that'll be the matchup of the night. Love will provide rebounds and plenty of points for a Wolves team that's been lacking these past two games without him. Since Dirk's return from those four games he missed for conditioning he's played six games. His first three games back he had two 10-point games and a game with 8pts. In his last three games he's scored 30pts, 24pts & 25pts. Clearly Dirk is back to being Dirk! Not good news for Wolves fans!
8.) So Dirk is back to being Dirk! But, now Pek 'is' Pek. Pekovic has stepped up in Darko's continued absence and has emerged as the team's starting center and a surprisingly effective one, at that. He's a dominant force in the paint--a very physical & tough big man. He's stepped up his 'game' on both ends of the floor and making the most of every minute he's out on the court.
9.) For the Wolves, they'll be without Malcolm Lee who is recovering from that knee injury and is currently playing in the D-League--he should be with the Wolves sometime next week. There's no word on whether Darko Milicic will be available. He's currently dealing with a sprained ankle. Before that it was a quad contusion and before that he was feeling ill. Who knows if he'll have yet another injury or if he'll actually be available to play...
10.) The Mavericks will be without their veteran point guard: Jason Kidd, who is currently out with a calf injury. Jason Terry is also on the injury report. He's listed as day-to-day with a hip flexor, though he's not expected to miss any time with the injury.
That's all for now. We'll have a full gameday recap of this one following the final horn. Tipoff is set for 7pmCT from the Target Center. Thanks for reading HOWL, enjoy the game, and GO WOLVES!