A win in Washington and on to the next. The Wolves are facing the Raptors, in their second game of a back-to-back-to-back set, that began with a win in Washington and ends on Tuesday back at the Target Center, versus the Chicago Bulls.
With the win over the Wizards, the Wolves moved to 3-5 on the year, now with wins over Dallas, San Antonio & Washington. They'll be looking for that forth over the Toronto Raptors on Monday as they travel North of the border against a Raptors team that's also 3-5 this season.
This game marks the Wolves' first opponent that's had a coaching change this offseason. The Raptors hired Dwane Casey this offseason. Casey, of course is a former Timberwolves head coach (you can see his stats under the 'History-Coaches' page on this site! Both of these teams are young and rebuilding, while still searching for an identity. The Wolves' is becoming clearer with the astounding performances Love is doling out as well as the arrival of Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams & Rick Adelman.
The Raptors made a lot of strange signings this offseason, grabbing the following free agents: Anthony Carter, Rasual Butler, Gary Forbes, Aaron Gray & Jamaal Magliore. A lot of strange parts added to a 'strange' team. Some veterans and some 'mediocre' role players.
The Wolves' top players are obviously Love, Rubio, Ridnour & Williams. They'll be without Michael Beasley once again as he recovers from that mid-foot sprain. J.J. Barea will also be a gametime decision, he warmed up before the Wizards game, but decided not to 'give it a go'. If he doesn't return vs. the Raptors, it's almost certain he'll be back for the Bulls game on Tuesday.
The biggest key for Minnesota will be maintaining a level of intensity and effort. They did a good job of staying focused and cruising to an easy win over Washington, however their previous two games to that, they obviously lost their focus. Coming off a two-game win streak, the Wolves faced the Grizzlies (without Zach Randolph) and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both resulted in losses, simply because the TWolves got 'cocky' and came in expecting the win. If they do that against this Raptors team, DeMar DeRozan & Andrea Bargnani will be happy to be Minny's wakeup call!
Let's take a look at some of the Raps key players...
Cody D. Anderson
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