The Minnesota Timberwolves will be looking to continue their season-high four-game winning streak in Orlando on Monday vs. the Magic.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are 12-9 on the year, 5-6 on the road and 7-3 in their last ten games. The Orlando Magic are 10-13, 5-6 at home and 5-5 in the last ten games.
The last time the Wolves played the Magic they did so without Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. That may not change on Monday night. Kevin Love missed Saturday's game vs. the Mavericks with the flu and it remains to be seen whether he'll be able to go in this one. Ricky Rubio on the other hand, made his season debut vs. the Mavs, however the Rick Adelman has said he doesn't intend to play Ricky in back-to-back games right away now that he's back. So, does he play on Monday vs. the Magic or do they save him for Tuesday vs. the Miami Heat? Or do they scrap the plans not to play him in back-to-back games and play him both nights. I have no idea. The Wolves will also be without four players for certain: Malcolm Lee, Brandon Roy, Josh Howard and Chase Budinger who are all dealing with knee injuries or rehabbing from knee surgeries.
The Magic will be without Al Harrington (knee) and Hedo Turkoglu (hand). Harrington has yet to play this season as he's still rehabbing that knee. Al says he hopes to return to the lineup by the February trade deadline. Turkoglu's hand is now in a splint (instead of a cast), but there's still no timetable for his return.
Both teams played Saturday. The Wolves faced the Mavericks at the Target Center which ended in a 114-106 overtime W. You can find the full recap of that here.
The Magic faced the slumping Charlotte Bobcats and they handed them their 11th-straight loss with a 107-98 win. Glen Davis had 20pts, 4reb, 2ast; Arron Afflalo added 20pts, 6reb, 3ast and Jameer Nelso turned in a solid outing with 16pts, 4reb, 6ast, 1blk.
Let's take a look at the probable starting lineups...
If Kevin Love is unable to play, expect Dante Cunningham (7.7ppg, 4.9rpg, 0.9spg) to get his second straight start of the season.
The Wolves hold an advantage in the paint--especially the matchup at center vs. the Two Nikolas. If Pek can take use his strength advantage early and often, the Wolves will be in good shape. The Magic have started Moe Harkless at small forward and I'd look for AK47 to exploit that early on. I fully expect to see a backdoor court or two or three from AK leading to easy buckets.
That's all for now, I apologize that this preview was so rushed, however the next three days are incredibly busy for me, so I apologize for any posts in the next three days. I won't be watching this game on Monday night (I'm hoping I can catch the second half, but it's not a sure thing). We'll still have a recap Monday night though. Tipoff is set for 6pmCT, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!