By: Dan Slaubaugh
Good morning, Wolves fans. It's Sunday, and we have some matinee basketball to watch today with the Wolves in Los Angeles to take on the Clippers.
Minnesota (8-8) is coming off 3 straight wins special thanks to Andrew Wiggins (Philly) and strong bench play (ATL & SAC). In the latter 2, lots of players contributed, but the bench came up big, resulting in a pair of victories. LAC (8-8) has won two out of their last 3 and lost 4 out of their last 6. They just recently pummeled the Pelicans, who were without their superstar (#TheBrow) the final quarter because of a hurt knee.
Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the Clippers. Whether it's the whining and complaining to the officials, the chokefest team they are in the playoffs, or all the drama they bring off the court (DJ), they just set me off for some reason. Therefore, it'd just make my day if the Wolves can continue their surge on the road and defeat these guys.
Anyways, now that you all know now I am not LAC's biggest fan, here's what you need to know for today's game.
What: Wolves @ Clippers
Where: Staples Center. Los Angeles, California.
When: 2:30pm CST
Where to watch: Fox Sports North
Where to listen: 830 WCCO Radio
What to watch for:
Rubio & Bjelica: Both were unavailable for Friday night's game against Sacramento. Rubio was out because of a tweaked left ankle. Bjelica was out because of a left knee contusion. It sure would be nice to have 2 important players back against a vey good Clippers team. Keep an eye out on the injury report before tomorrow's game.
KAT sitting in crunch time: Town's minutes have been down the past couple games because of Sam trying to keep his legs fresh for an 82 game season. Therefore, he has been leaving Gorgui in for crunch time play and keeping Towns on the bench. It's frustrated fans; but I don't mind Sam riding the hot hand at the end of games, and it is important for Gorgui to develop as well. There's no way it becomes an occasional thing, so no need to worry. As far as tonight goes, bank on Towns being on the court during crunch time. They will need him sorely against LAC's frontcourt.
LAC frontcourt: A big key in this game for the Wolves will be limiting 2nd chance points and the amount of offensive boards LAC can grab. With that, Minnesota will have their hands full down low tonight, having to deal with DJ, Griffin, and Josh Smith. If Towns and Garnett can maintain the Clippers frontcourt from breaking out, I believe Minnesota has a good chance in this game.
Points: Andrew Wiggins (21.8)
Rebounds: Karl-Anthony Towns (9.4)
Assists: Ricky Rubio (8.5)
Steals: Ricky Rubio (1.7)
Blocks: Karl-Anthony Towns (2.3)
Points: Blake Griffin (25.1)
Rebounds: DeAndre Jordan (12.6)
Assists: Chris Paul (8.4)
Steals: Chris Paul (1.8)
Blocks: DeAndre Jordan (2.9)
PG: Ricky Rubio
SG: Kevin Martin
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Karl-Anthony Towns
PG: Chris Paul
SG: JJ Reddick
SF: Wesley Johnson :)
PF: Blake Griffin
C: DeAndre Jordan
Questionable: Ricky Rubio (left ankle)
Questionable: Nemanja Bjelica (left knee)
OUT: Nikola Pekovic (still recovering from surgery on right achilles)
No injuries reported
Alrighty, that is all. I'm excited for this game, as well as you should be. Both teams are 8-8, so one team will move up and one will move down in the standings. I expect Wiggins to have a field day with LAC's opposing wing defenders, who have recently struggled guarding opposing wings. My final score for this one: Wolves lose 104-97. Sorry. However, I'll leave you with this quote provided by Doc Rivers.
"I think that this young Timberwolves team is the team of the future in the West. They're playing amazing basketball."