The Minnesota Timberwolves are coming off a stunning win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and they hope to follow it up with another win over yet another Western Conference 'powerhouse'.
This is the third of three meetings between these two teams. The first came on Feb. 10th in Memphis, the result was a 88-105 Wolves loss. Luke & Ricky each scored 17 apiece for MIN, while Z-Bo had 16pts & 8reb, Prince had 18pts on 8-8 FG and Conley added 16pts & 8ast for MEM.
The second meeting came on March 18th, also in Memphis and the result was another big Grizzly win, 77-92. Shved led the team with 12pts & Gelabale & JJ each added 11 off the bench. The Grizz were led by Conley w/20pts, Bayless added 15 off the bench and Gasol had a great all-around game with 16pts, 8reb, 5ast & 4blks.
This will be Memphis' first visit to the Target Center since April of last season. Memphis has won 10 games in a row over Minnesota and 4-straight at the Target Center.
They're desperate for another big win over the Wolves so they can snap a season-high 5-game road losing streak. With their recent struggles on the road, they've slipped slightly in the standings, but they still have a great chance to get within the Top 4 of the Western Conference. The Grizz have already clinched a playoff berth, but Memphis is 1/2 game behind the #4 Clippers and 1 game behind #3 Denver, as it stands today.
The Grizzlies are a savvy defense team and the Wolves need to find some kind of hole in that D (good luck) if they want to win this one. The Wolves aren't a stellar defensive squad and their recent success has been thanks to their play on O.
Let's take a look at tonight's probable starting lineups...
Nikola Pekovic is coming off his best scoring night since that abdominal injury sidelined him for 8-straight games. His 22pts & 15reb against the Thunder was very impressive and he'll look to build off of that. Kendrick Perkins is a good low-post defender, but tonight Pek will be going against (in my opinion) a Top 3 center in this League. Marc Gasol does a little bit of everything. He's a 7'1" big man that can score in the post, from mid-range, crashes the boards, finds his teammates in the seams for easy buckets passing out of the post, plays passing lanes and protects the rim. If you compare his numbers to Kirilenko's, Gasol is doing all of that and then a bit more. It should be quite the battle down low.
This game will depend heavily on offensive execution. If the Wolves can battle for easy buckets and find a way to break down the stingy Memphis D, there's no reason to think they can't snap this 10-game losing streak to the Grizz.
Tipoff is set for 7pmCT from the Target Center, enjoy the game, have a Happy Easter weekend, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!