The Timberwolves will be facing the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night, following their 99-82 victory vs. the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs are coming off a 104-89 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. Unlike the Wolves who are playing a back-to-back on consecutive nights, the Spurs have had two days off to rest--something very important for a team with so many veterans!
The Wolves are a team on the rise. The Spurs are annual contenders, but there's no doubt age is catching up--quick! The Spurs have just one loss this season--with a record of 3-1. There one loss came against the Houston Rockets in a 105-85 loss in Houston. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, are 1-3, with their three losses coming against: the Thunder, Bucks & Heat--losing those three games by a grand total of just 9 points.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will likely stay with the same starting lineup they've used all year: Luke/Wes/Beasley/Love/Darko. While the Spurs will likely be starting Parker/Ginboli/Jefferson/Duncan/Blair.
Michael Beasley suffered a lacerated left finger in the game vs. the Mavericks, he got some stitches, but isn't expected to miss any time. He said after the game, it may keep him from shooting so much, but considering his early season struggles--that may not be a bad thing! J.J. Barea returned from his hamstring injury against his former team last night, he did play 17 minutes, but he said after the game he wasn't 100%, he may miss the TWolves' next few games. Nikola Pekovic hasn't played at all this season, he was available for the first time against San Antonio, but didn't play, he could see some time tonight.
It'll be an interesting matchup. I think the big story will be the Timberwolves' reserve big men. Derrick Williams, Anthony Tolliver & Anthony Randolph have been playing pretty well this season off the bench. They'll be going against reserves Tiago Splitter & Matt Bonner. And Nikola can return for this one, it'll be a big boost for an already solid reserve frontcourt! Clearly a big advantage in reserve big men for Minnesota.
Across the board, the Spurs' bench seems much thinner than in past seasons, which seems crazy to me. You've got a veteran team that's playing in a condensed 66-game season that most would dub: grueling, and they're reserves include: T.J. Ford, Cory Joseph, James Anderson, Gary Neal, Kawhi Leonard & Danny Green--beyond the aforementioned big men. Depth is a big factor for veteran teams, they may be 3-1, early in this season, but I definitely think they're going to struggle as the season wears on!
The best matchup of the night? Kevin Love vs. Tim Duncan. The Young vs. the Old. Tim Duncan may go down as one of the best power forwards of all time, but he's far from his prime! Tim is averaging just 9ppg, 6rpg, 2apg & 0.8bpg this season, in 22mpg! While Kevin Love is averaging around 25ppg & 15rpg as well as 3apg & 1spg! He keeps on this pace he's a surefire All-Star (for a second consecutive season). Tim Duncan is still a solid player, but Kevin Love should have a big game! Especially since the Spurs will be limiting Tim's minutes and playing Kawhi, Tiago & Bonner more!
Keeping it short today, that's all for now! Tipoff is set for 7pmCT and a full gameday recap can be found on this site following the final horn! Thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!