Tonight's game in Dallas will end the Timberwolves' four-game road trip. The Wolves are looking to escape the South with at least one win as they've lost games in Oklahoma City, New Orleans and San Antonio.
While the Wolves are looking to avoid a four-game winless road trip, the Dallas Mavericks will be looking to tie a season-best with a third-straight victory.
Minnesota comes into this game two games below .500 at 16-18, 6-13 on the road, 9-11 vs. the Western Conference, 3-7 in their last ten games, losers of their last three games and currently ranked 10th in the West. Dallas enters tonight's game eight games below .500 at 15-23, 9-7 at home, 7-14 vs. the Western Conference (including two losses to Minnesota), 3-7 in their last ten games, winners of their last two outings, but currently ranked 12th out West.
Part of Dallas' struggles this season have been the health of their star Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk missed the first 27 games of the season as he rehabbed from offseason knee surgery. He's played in Dallas' last 11 games and started the last 5. In his last six games, Dirk is averaging 18 points a game. If he can play like the "Dirk of Old' tonight, the Mavs have a great chance of winning this one. In the last four meetings between these two teams, Nowitzki is averaging 27.3 points a game!
The Minnesota Timberwolves will be facing a squad for the fourth straight game that has a full, healthy roster. The Wolves, on the other hand will be without four of their players: Kevin Love (broken hand), Malcolm Lee (knee/hip), Brandon Roy (knees) and Chase Budinger (knee). Head Coach Rick Adelman will also be out for this one as he misses his fifth straight game. You can find updates on the four injured players on our Injury Report under the Team Report header on this site.
The Mavs are coming off an impressive 104-83 win over one of the NBA's better teams: the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizz were coming off an overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs the night prior and had tired legs vs. the Mavs the following night. Shawn Marion scored 20pts and added 4reb & 1ast; Dirk finished with 17pts, 6reb, 3ast & 1blk and Chris Kaman added 14pts, 7reb, 1ast & 1blk.
Let's take a look at tonight's probable starting lineups...
Despite facing a Mavericks team that's eight games below .500, the Wolves haven't looked good in the second half of games during this road trip...and ultimately the majority of the season. If the Wolves want to turn things around they'll need to come out strong in the third quarter as that's been the time when they've lost a lot of games. Coming out of the locker room lethargic in the third will spell doom once again for our Minnesota Timberwolves!
Tipoff is set for 7:30pmCT, enjoy the game, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!