These two teams are meeting for the fourth and final time on Saturday night when the Timberwolves visit the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
The TWolves currently lead the season series 2-1 as the Nuggets will look to even it up for the season. Winning this season series doesn't seem very likely. The Nuggets are currently riding a 7-game winning streak as well as 12 consecutive wins on their home floor.
Not only have they rattled off 12 straight wins at the Pepsi Center, the Nuggets have lost just 3 games on their home floor this season. As you may know, one of those three losses came at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves won at the Pepsi Center 101-97 on January 3rd. They also had a three-point victory on Dec. 12th in Minnesota, 108-105. The Nuggets did win the first meeting of the season on Nov. 21st, 94-101 in Minnesota.
The Nuggets will be looking for a 13th-straight home victory in this one, which would secure their longest home winning streak in 24 years! They haven't won 13-straight at home in one season since they rattled off 19-straight wins from Jan. 28th to April 20th of 1989.
While the Nuggets look for another victory at home, the Wolves will be looking to string consecutive wins together for the first time in nearly three months! The last time the Wolves were able to win consecutive games this season was during a stretch from Dec. 7th to Dec. 15th when they won 4-straight games.
In the last meeting between these two teams (1/3) is when Kevin Love re-fractured his hand. He's still out, but it's sounding as though he could return in 2-3 weeks! There was a video courtesy of @TWolves_PR on Twitter of Love taking jumpers from mid-range after practice on March 8th. Chase Budinger is also nearing a return and he's got the same 2-3 week timeline. Brandon Roy continues to remain out. Malcolm Lee has been out after having surgery in January on his knee & hip. Andrei Kirilenko (calf) & Nikola Pekovic (abdomen) will also miss this one. The plan is still to re-evaluate them next week.
The Denver Nuggets have a full 15-man roster, with everyone completely healthy! Wouldn't that be nice, eh?!
Without Kevin Love, the Timberwolves have lost 12 of 13 on the road & 23 of 29 overall. They snapped a six-game losing streak on Wednesday night when they escaped with a five-point victory over the Washington Wizards.
Let's take a look at the probable starting lineups in this one...
There is a chance that Adelman decides to start Cunningham at small forward instead of Gelabale, to match up better with Danilo Gallinari. Danilo has averaged a team-high 18.3 points per game on 54.3% shooting in the three matchups vs. Minnesota this season.
The biggest concern will be how the Wolves go about defending Andre Iguodala. Rubio will take Lawson and either Gelabale or Dante will guard Gallinari, which leaves Luke Ridnour to deal with AI. One of the NBA's stronger swingman, if he decides to post up Minnesota's backcourt, he should have great success all night long. The Wolves simply don't have any guards or forwards (beyond Dante) that can match up with him physically.
It should be a great point guard battle. Ty Lawson is averaging 23.6 points per game in his last 12 games, but tonight he'll be going up against a young point guard who is quickly becoming recognized as one of the NBA's premier perimeter defenders.
The Nuggets currently sit at 5th in the Western Conference as they look to make the jump to a Top 4 team to secure home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Denver comes into tonight's game at 41-22, 27-3 at home, 7-5 in the Northwest, 27-11 vs. the Western Conference, winners of 7-straight games and 8-2 in their last ten games.
The Timberwolves currently sit at 12th in the Western Conference and unfortunately just 2.5 games out of 15th, they're also 21-37 on the year, 7-22 on the road, 3-9 vs. the Northwest, 11-24 vs. the West and 3-7 in their last ten games.
Tipoff for tonight's game is 8pmCT, enjoy the game, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!