The Minnesota Timberwolves will be carrying a bit of momentum into Sunday afternoon's matchup with the New York Knicks, following a Thursday night win over the powerhouse Oklahoma City Thunder. They'll have to take down one of the Eastern Conference's best, however, without their star player: Kevin Love. We'll get to that in a bit though.
The Wolves are 13-11 on the season (now two games over .500 on the season) and proving they can defeat any squad in the NBA. Minnesota is also 5-8 on the road and 7-3 in their last ten games.
The Knicks are 19-7 this season, 11-2 at home and they're also 7-3 in their last ten games. They've been able to do all of this without their star forward Amar'e Stoudemire who has yet to play this season (though he's getting close).
The Knicks have won the last two meetings as well as three of the last four at Madison Square Garden.
Let's take a look at each team's (unfortunately) lengthy injury reports...
Both teams are riddled with injuries at this time. Looking at the Knicks injuries, they'll be without a lot of their frontcourt help. Unfortunately the Wolves will be without their main frontcourt player and now they'll have to rely on a big game from either Dante Cunningham or Derrick Williams. I'm already assuming a big game from Pek, despite matching up against the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Let's take a look back at each team's last games...
Let's take a look at the probable starting lineups in this one...
Adelman says he isn't sure who will start in Kevin Love's absence, however Andrei Kirilenko will basically be the starting power forward in this one. That is, he'll be matched up with Carmelo Anthony. Then, Adelman will likely decide to start either Dante or Derrick. I'm thinking Dante, just because of his better defense and foot speed as he'll be asked to guard Ronnie Brewer (not the greatest offensive player anyway). If the Wolves still had Josh Howard, he would likely start at small forward in this one. I wouldn't rule out a Ridnour, Barea, Shved, Kirilenko, Pek lineup or even a Rubio, Ridnour, Shved, Kirilenko, Pek lineup. Both are less likely, but there are certainly a few options.
The biggest concern will be containing Carmelo Anthony. The Wolves have one of the best defensive small forward in the NBA in Andrei Kirilenko, so if anyone can slow down Melo (I say slow down, because there's very little chance you can 'stop' Carmelo Anthony). Slow down Melo--upset one of the Eastern Conference's best teams.
That's all for now, tipoff for this one is set for 4pmCT and a full gameday recap can be found on this site later this evening. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!