By: Dan Slaubaugh
Happy Thursday, Wolves fans.
Tonight, the Denver Nuggets are in town for a Northwest division showdown.
The Nuggets (1-2) front office have stockpiled a nice array of young talent in Denver over the past few years, with Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic spearheading one of the league's most promising frontcourts. Their wing plethora of Emmanuel Mudiay, Garry Harris, and Jamal Murray are still in the early stages of development, but have some nice upside for the future.
The Wolves (1-2) are coming off of a 116-80 throttling of a shorthanded Grizzlies squad who were without three of their five starters and key bench man Zach Randolph. The game was "over" before halftime.
The Wolves look to return to .500 tonight against the Nuggets.
What: Wolves - Nuggets
When: 7:10pm CT
Where: Target Center - Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Where to watch: Fox Sports North
Where to listen: 830 WCCO Radio
What to watch for:
Jokic-Nurkic: You're looking at one of the most underrated frontcourts in the league right here. Through three games, Jokic (21) and Nurkic (22) are combining for 29.3 points and 21.3 rebounds per game. They'll assuredly have their hands full with Towns and Dieng tonight, however, whom appear to be a prime rival for best frontcourt in 2020.
LaVine shooting flames: Zach LaVine (along with Gorgui) has probably been the Wolves most consistent player so far this season. He's coming off of a 31 point, 4 rebound performance in which he drained five three-pointers and is averaging 23.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists on 52% field goal shooting and 50% three point shooting on the season. Will Barton was expected to be on LaVine duty for tonight's game, but he'll be unavailable tonight due to an ankle injury. Therefore, look for LaVine to continue to rock against slow-footed rookie Jamal Murray who will make his 1st NBA start.
Attendance: The crowd was admittedly a bit disappointing for the Wolves home opener with roughly only 15,000 people in attendance for the game. You probably can contribute that to other events taking place that night such as game 6 of the World Series, the Wild playing across the river, and also the 0-2 start to the season. It will be interesting to see the attendance number tonight with those factors out of the equation.
Zach LaVine is one point away from surpassing the 2,000-point mark in his career.
The Wolves have averaged 44 rebounds per game, while allowing their opponents to bring down 36 rebounds per game.
Despite a 1-2 record, the Wolves are averaging 105.7 points per game, while giving up 96 points per game. However, those numbers are probably flawed because of Tuesday night's so called "forfeit" by Memphis.
The Nuggets are shooting 10.7% (3 for 28) from the field during the last five minutes of the fourth quarter.
Will Barton's absence leaves Denver shorthanded defensively at the wing position, allowing LaVine and Wiggins to pour in a combined 45+ points. KAT and Dieng match even against Denver's twin towers.
#Wolves win 103-95.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the game. Go Wolves.