The Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a 16-game losing streak to the Portland Trailblazers in their last meeting, just five days ago (Saturday) in Portland. It also ended an 11-game losing streak to the Blazers in Portland. Tonight, at the Target Center, Kevin Love will look to fuel his team to avoid another Blazers W in Minneapolis. The last time the TWolves took down Portland at the Target Center was March 25, 2007, since then, the Blazers have won eight-straight. Tonight, will also be the Timberwolves' first chance in five years to win 5-straight games at home! The last time that happened? December 26, 2006-January 7, 2007.
There's no questioning Kevin Love has been on a roll his last two games (@Portland on Saturday & vs. the Clippers on Monday) and tonight vs. the Blazers he'll look to continue his stellar play. In the last two games, Love has gone for a combined for 81pts, 27rebs, 6ast, 28-52 FG (54%), 10-18 3PT (56%), 15-19 FT (79%) in a total 86 minutes!
Since these two faced just a few days ago in Portland, the TWolves played one game (Mon. vs. LAC) and took down the Clips 95-94, here's a full gameday recap of that one: Timberwolves-Clippers Game Recap.
The Blazers also played just one game since facing Minnesota on Saturday. They played the Hornets on Monday and won 86-74. It was an easy win over the cellar-dwelling New Orleans Hornets. Nicolas Batum led the charge with 19pts, 3rebs, 1 ast, 1blk & 7-16 FG. Camby added 6pts, 16rebs, 2ast, 2stls, 2blks. The Hornets were able to limit Aldridge, however. LA finished with just 10pts, 11rebs, 1stl on 5-11 FG. After the game LA said he lost his rhythm because the Hornets' bigs were doubling down on him in the post.
The Timberwolves are 20-19 this season and are 11-10 at home. The Blazers are 19-19 as well as 5-12 on the road. Their struggles on the road have been well-documented, which could certainly tip the odds in favor of Minnesota. According to AccuScore, Minnesota is the 55%-45% favorites, Minnesota by 1.0 and an over/under of 195.0. Minnesota has also gone 7-3 in their last 10 games, while the Blazers have gone 4-6 over that same stretch.
Since the Wolves' last meeting with Portland Jamal Crawford has been moved back to the bench and Raymond Felton has been moved back into the starting lineup as the team's point guard. The reason being? McMillan simply stated, we've lost three games!
It may also have a bit to do with Jamal Crawford being heavily involved in trade talks as we move very close to the March 15th Trade Deadline. One of those teams? The Minnesota Timberwolves. According to multiple sources the Timberwolves are VERY interested in Crawford. Here's a story we wrote on that earlier this week: TWolves Interested...Once Again...in Jamal Crawford. An update to that story, according to CSNNW.com, Luke Ridnour would be the most likely TWolf to go to Portland. The only thing holding up a deal, is the Blazers hoping to acquire a better point guard, like: Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo or Jose Calderon. I really like Luke Ridnour and his game, so it would be unfortunate if he was traded away, but I can't deny Jamal Crawford is the kind of scoring shooting guard the Timberwolves desperately need!
Nikola Pekovic participated in yesterday's practice, though he only did for about 45 minutes and wasn't involved in any contact-drills or scrimmages, he'll be re-evaluated before tonight's game, making him a gametime decision. If he's unable to play, Darko Milicic will almost definitely get the start again. He had 13pts, 4rebs, 1ast, 1blk on 6-of-7 shooting.
There's no doubt the Trailblazers will be gunning for Kevin Love, whether or not that'll be effective remains to be seen. However, there's no question that other players need to step up and contribute on the offensive end, because, as good as he is, you can't count on Kevin Love scoring 40pts a game!
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. If you haven't already, check out our new season/career-highs for every TWolves player on the roster!
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!