The Minnesota Timberwolves' quest for a playoff berth presses on, but now the losers of three-straight, the TWolves are falling farther and farther out of the Western Conference playoff picture. Minnesota now sits 4.5 games behind Houston for the 8th seed in the West.
The TWolves will look to end this three-game skid. They may be able to pull that off vs. the Warriors as they look for their second win of the season vs. Golden State, in just under two weeks.
It's no secret that the Minnesota Timberwolves have struggled since losing Ricky Rubio. Since that time the Wolves have gone 4-11. They lost Ricky for the season, but they've also been without J.J. Barea, Michael Beasley and Nikola Pekovic for stretches and now it's sounding like Luke Ridnour could miss some extended time with a sprained ankle he suffered Monday night vs. the Kings. With just three weeks left in the season, it's uncertain when he'll return.
Despite all the injuries to all these key players, there's one thing or player, rather, that you can always count on. Over the past seven games Kevin Love is averaging 31.4ppg and 13.1rpg. The last time the Wolves faced the Warriors, Love dropped 36pts & 15reb in a 97-93 Wolves win.
These are two teams that are currently struggling mightily. Since trading away Monta Ellis the Warriors are losers of 11 of their last 13 games. The Warriors are currently on a 6-game losing streak, 2-8 in their last 10 games, 20-32 overall this season and 9-16 on the road. The Timberwolves are currently on a 3-game losing streak, 3-7 in their last 10, 25-30 overall and 13-13 at the Target Center.
For the Timberwolves, they may be getting some of their injuries players back. J.J. Barea & Michael Beasley sound as though they're near a return. With Luke Ridnour out, Barea's return would be a HUGE boost for the Wolves. If J.J. is able to play, he'll likely be inserted into the starting lineup to run the point. Obviously conditioning will be a factor. If J.J. can't play, Malcolm Lee will get his first NBA start. Even if J.J. can play, Lee will certainly be seeing some extended minutes. Michael Beasley could also return from his sprained toe and his scoring punch off the bench has been sorely missed.
The Warriors' last game was a 94-98 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last night. The Grizzlies overcame a 12-point Warriors lead in the fourth quarter with a late rally. David Lee had 22pts & 13reb and Nate Robinson added 18 points off the bench.
Let's take a look at tonight's probable starters for each team...
Barea/Lee vs. Charles Jenkins (4.4ppg, 2.1apg, 0.5spg)
Webster vs. Klay Thompson (10.6ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.8apg)
Johnson vs. Dorell Wright (9.9ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.5apg)
Love vs. David Lee (19.8ppg, 9.6rpg, 0.9spg)
Pekovic vs. Tyler (2.6ppg, 2.1rpg, 0.2bpg)
The Warriors traded Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and the injured Kwame Brown to Milwaukee at the deadline, for the injured Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson (who they later traded to the Spurs for Richard Jefferson). Ellis was clearly a big part of the Warriors, he averaged a team-high 20.3ppg, a team-high 5.9apg as was as 1.4spg (second-most on the team). Ekpe Udoh averaged 5.5ppg, 4.1rpg and a team-high 1.7bpg.
AccuScore lists the Minnesota Timberwolves as the clear favorites (70%-30%). Minnesota by 7.0 with an over/under of 208.0.
That's all for now, tipoff is set for 7pmCT at the Target Center, a full gameday recap can be found here following the final horn. Until then, thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!