The Minnesota Timberwolves' playoff hopes have dimmed, but the Phoenix Suns chancing of making the postseason still shine on. The TWolves are currently 5.5 games behind Denver for the 8th seed in the playoffs (ESPN's Playoff Odds still have Minnesota with a 0.3% chance of making the playoffs). The Phoenix Suns are one game behind Denver for that 8th seed.
Since Feb. 18th, the Phoenix Suns have been on fire, going 17-8 since that time. This matchup with the TWolves is Phoenix's first game of a four-game road trip. They'll be seeking a fifth win in six games at the Target Center, Monday night.
With a loss tonight, the Minnesota's season-worst losing streak will stretch to six games. The Wolves have also dropped 13 of their last 17 games and are still win-less in the month of April since the 2009 season. This current 5-game losing streak is Minnesota's worst since finishing last season on a 15-game losing streak.
The TWolves are 25-32 on the year, 13-14 at home and 2-8 in their last 10 games. The Phoenix Suns are 29-27 this season, 12-16 on the road and 6-4 in their last 10 games.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will likely, again, be without starting point guard Luke Ridnour as he continues to miss time because of a severely sprained ankle. Darko Milicic is currently listed as 'injured' as well with a supposed strained hamstring (not that anyone is too sad about it, but I doubt we'll ever see Darko Milicic in a TWolves uniform again).
The Phoenix Suns will be without their starting small forward Grant Hill who suffered a knee injury. Phoenix head coach Alvin Gentry said he hopes he can make it back into the lineup for the final week of the season.
Let's take a look at the probable starting lineups for the game...
J.J. Barea vs. Steve Nash (12.8ppg, 11.2apg, 0.7spg)
Martell Webster vs. Shannon Brown (10.3ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.0apg)
Wesley Johnson vs. Jared Dudley (12.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 0.8spg)
Kevin Love vs. Channing Frye (10.7ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.2bpg)
Nikola Pekovic vs. Marcin Gortat (16.0ppg, 9.9rpg, 1.5bpg)
Since Shannon Brown has replaced Grant Hill in the starting lineup he's been averaging 17.6ppg over 8 games (which is nearly double his season average).
Tipoff is set for 8pmCT from the Target Center (Monday, April 9th).
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!