Since last facing the Rockets on Mon. Jan. 30th, the TWolves have played two games and gone 1-1 in that time. On Wednesday they lost by 10 points to the Indiana Pacers, whose size just bullied the Timberwolves all night. The other game came last night vs. the Nets. It was a narrow victory over the Nets, who got 42 points from Anthony Morrow, the Wolves countered with Pek, for 27!
Since last facing the TWolves, the Rockets have also played two games. They were on the same days the Wolves played too. On Wednesday the Rockets lost to the Spurs; 91-99. Last night Houston played the Phoenix Suns (a team the Wolves have yet to play) and had an easy-win; 99-81!
Let's take a look at some 'keys' and some 'notes' for tonight's game...
- In the last meeting between these two (Monday, Jan. 30th) the Wolves just couldn't miss and won by 12; 120-108. They got a HUGE boost from Michael Beasley off the bench who had 34pts on 10-of-14 shooting. They had 29pts & 7rebs from Love and Ricky Rubio nearly had his first triple-double of his career: 18pts, 8rebs, 11ast. These are the kinds of performances they need from their main guys if they want wins. The TWolves shot over 58% from the field and 90% at the line and crushed the Rockets in the paint; 58-44!
- For the Rockets, in that last game, Kevin Martin was returning from injury and poured in 29pts on 9-of-15 shooting in 34 minutes. They got a lot of balanced scoring beyond Martin, but they needed someone else to step up and score more. Some of their main guys (Lowry & Scola) struggled--which on a team without a bonafide star, means the difference between winning and losing.
- The Rockets will have all their players available tonight (they're all healthy). For the Timberwolves--Malcolm Lee is still out (but very close to debuting). The Wolves then have 14 healthy players which means someone will have to sit. The most obvious candidate: Anthony Randolph. Who has been a healthy scratch the past two games. If not Randolph--I'd assume Brad Miller.
- I could talk about a potential starting lineup change--but I've been doing so for the past week! I'll just say after Pek had 27pts & 11 rebs vs. the Nets last night--he's earned that starting spot. Darko didn't practice on Thursday, but still started last night--played 8 minutes (all in the first quarter) and was anything but impressive....or effective. Pek needs to start. Will he? Your guess is as good as mine, at this point.
- With a win tonight, the Wolves will move to .500 for the first time in nearly five years! Not since Dwane Casey was at the helm, have the Wolves been at .500 in a season! This will be the Wolves' fifth chance this season and the third chance in six games to move to that .500 mark. Something that will continue to haunt the Wolves until they can get there!
- The Rockets are 13-10 this season. They are, however, just 3-7 on the road this season (10-3 at home). That could've been seen as good news, but of those three road wins--one of them has come against the TWolves at the Target Center.
- The Wolves are 11-12 on the year. But, they've had their struggles at home going 5-8 this season! Hopefully some home court advantage will be kinder to them tonight then in past games at home this season.
- Tonight if the Wolves get solid performances from guys like Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, Ricky Rubio & even Nikola Pekovic--they should have no problem putting away the Rockets at home and moving to .500.
Tipoff is set for 7pmCT tonight and a full-gameday recap can be found on this site following the final horn. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!