The Minnesota Timberwolves are coming off a loss to what was the worst team in the NBA. With the win, the Charlotte Bobcats are now the NBA's worst team and that's who they'll face on Saturday evening in Charlotte.
The Timberwolves have lost 10 of their last 11 games on the road, including six in a row. The Wolves are also losers of 8 of their last 9 games overall.
The Charlotte Bobcats have a lengthy losing streak of their own. Charlotte has lost 16 consecutive games at home. Their last win at the Time Warner Cable Arena came on November 21st. With that win the Bobcats moved to 5-2 on the year....they're now 10-32. If the Bobcats were to lose another three straight games at home, they'll tie the NBA record, currently held by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks.
The Wolves come into this one six games under .500 at 17-23. Minnesota is currently 10th in the West and only three-and-a-half games out of that final seed. However, as the losses continue to accumulate the playoffs are looking more and more like a fantasy. The Wolves are also 6-16 on the road, 2-8 in their last ten games and losers of three straight.
The Bobcats are currently 10-32 on the year and hold the NBA's worst record. They're 5-18 at home, 2-8 in their last 10 and losers of three straight. The Bobcats are most certainly headed for another high lottery pick come summer.
I'll be completely honest, if the Wolves lose tonight's game, I may have to take a few weeks off from watching the Wolves. If we can't beat the Bobcats, we won't beat anyone for a very long time.
The Wolves continue to play without Nikola Pekovic (thigh) and Alexey Shved (ankle). Those two should be back next week sometime, of course they're two of the six players the Wolves are without the others being Kevin Love (hand), Brandon Roy (knees), Chase Budinger (knee) and Malcolm Lee (knee/hip).
The Bobcats are currently without their starting power forward: Byron Mullens who is dealing with an ankle injury and is listed as 'out indefinitely'.
Let's take a look at the starting lineups...
For once, the Wolves are facing a team that doesn't have a BIG advantage offensively in the paint. Without Nikola Pekovic, the Wolves have been dominated by some opposing centers: Brook Lopez, Al Horford & Nene to name a few. Crazy to say, but with Derrick, Dante & Chris; the Wolves may actually hold an advantage over the Bobcats...that is until Haywood is brought in the game.
The Wolves' biggest concerns will be four guys: Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions, Ben Gordon and Gerald Henderson. The Wolves allowed Jordan Crawford, John Wall & Bradley Beal to dominate last night, getting and hitting nearly every shot they threw up. These four Bobcat players are just as capable, especially Walker & Gordon who are two extremely talented shooters.
The name of the game has to be defense. The Wolves have been allowing 100.8ppg & 50.3% FG in their last nine games, while also allowing six of those opponents to score 104 points or more. If Minnesota wants to get back on track, a matchup with the Bobcats could be what it takes, but the Wolves HAVE to play D, allowing opponents to make half their shots and score 100+ every night will see this losing streak continue.
Tipoff is set for 6:30pmCT, enjoy the game and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!