By: Dan Slaubaugh
Happy Tuesday, Wolves fans.
After starting the season 6-1, the Hornets have cooled off a bit by losing two games in a row. They are coming off of a 100-93 loss to the Cavaliers on the road despite a double-double performance from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist who finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said that although the loss was disappointing, he was proud of the way his team fought.
"Good fight on the road. We didn’t give up. We have a lot of confidence in what we can become. Just disappointing. We’re right there and a couple things at the end really went against us. We get a break or two, that’s a different game. It’s a tough way to lose, frankly." - Hornets.com
The Wolves are coming off of a 125-99 victory against the LA Lakers in a game where Andrew Wiggins poured in 47 points (on just 21 shots!) and converted 17 of 22 free throws. We also saw Nemanja Bjelica turn in his best performance of the season netting 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals after sliding into the starting rotation because of an injured Zach LaVine (sore knee).
The Wolves look for a win tonight on Karl-Anthony Towns' 21st birthday.
What: Wolves - Hornets
Where: Target Center - Minneapolis, Minnesota
When: 7:00pm CT
Where to watch: Fox Sports North
Where to listen: 830 WCCO
What to watch for:
Emerging stars: Wiggins 47 point performance against the Lakers only further indicated that he has the ceiling of a superstar in this league. And we, of course, know about the untapped ceilings of Towns and LaVine as well. But Charlotte has their own breakout star emerging in point guard Kemba Walker, who is now in his 6th year in the league averaging a career-best 25.3 points per game. It'll be up to Rubio to try and slow him down tonight.
What will Thibs do?: Jon Krawczynski (AP) reported earlier today that Zach LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad will both workout before tonight's game. He later stated Thibs called it "50-50" on whether they'll be available tonight but that Shabazz seemed optimistic. If they are available, LaVine will assuredly slide back to the 2. But what happens from there is a mystery because of the explosive play of Andrew Wiggins and Nemanja Bjelica in different roles on Sunday against LAL. Will Thibs try to fit Bjelica in more as a 3 or keep him as a 4? Will we see Wiggins at the 2 more because of the mismatch he creates against smaller wings? We'll find out tonight.
The Wolves are ninth in the league in scoring, averaging 107.9 points per game.
Andrew Wiggins is currently the ninth-best scorer in the league at 26.3 points per game, while Kemba Walker is 12th at 25.3 points per game.
The Hornets will be without guard Jeremy Lamb, but still boast one of the best defensive wing tandems in the league with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Nicolas Batum.
The Wolves boast one of the league's best offenses. The Hornets boast one of the league's best defenses. Something's gotta give...
That said, I'm picking Charlotte tonight. They'll come in ready and motivated to snap their two-game losing streak and do just that.
Wolves lose 103-95. Kemba Walker lights up Target Center.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the game. Go Wolves.