By: Dan Slaubaugh
Good morning and happy Friday. The Wolves blew a 14 point lead and eventually lost to the Magic Wednesday night, but the silver lining is there, as the Wolves are getting some incredible play from their youth in crunch time.
Jerry Zgoda provided the tweet of the night.
The Wolves (5-7) return to Target Center tonight to kick off a 3 game homestand against the Detroit Pistons (6-5). The Pistons started off the season 5-1, but haven't been playing their best basketball as of late, losing 4 of their last 5. Detroit arguably plays in the toughest division in the NBA, and just like the Wolves, are hoping their youth will develop and one day turn into a championship contender. Here's what you need to know for tonight's game.
What: Wolves vs. Pistons
Where: Target Center. Minneapolis, Minnesota
When: 7:00 pm CST
Where to watch: Fox Sports North
Where to listen: 830 WCCO Radio
What to watch for:
Drummond-Towns: Possibly the breakout player of the year so far, Drummond has averaged 19.1 ppg and leads the league in rebounds per game with 18.9. On the other side, there's Towns, and we all know how special he is.
I usually say that the opposing big man Towns will be facing that night should be fun, but seriously, Towns vs. Drummond could possibly be the matchup to watch in the entire league tonight. Too far? Maybe, but this should be a joy to watch for all basketball fans.
Detroit backcourt: The Reggie Jackson-Kentavious Caldwell-Pope backcourt duo has been very good through their first 11 games. Jackson has averaged 20.6ppg, 5.6apg, 4.5rpg while Caldwell-Pope has averaged 13.8ppg, 3.3rpg, and 1.5apg. Both have shot over 40% from field. They will need to continue their stellar play if Detroit wants to come out with a win.
Bjelica rebound: He's been in a little bit of a funk throughout the past 5 games, averaging 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist. Of course, the stats are down because of the foul trouble he's been in. Look for him to return to the court for heavy minutes tonight. We can't go much longer without his "big shots" in the clutch.
Points: Andrew Wiggins (21.5)
Rebounds: Karl-Anthony Towns (10.7)
Assists: Ricky Rubio (8.6)
Steals: Ricky Rubio (2.1)
Blocks: Karl-Anthony Towns (2.4)
Points: Reggie Jackson (20.6)
Rebounds: Andre Drummond (18.9)
Assists: Reggie Jackson (5.6)
Steals: Andre Drummond (1.8)
Blocks: Andre Drummond (1.4)
PG: Ricky Rubio
SG: Andrew Wiggins
SF: Tayshaun Prince
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Karl-Anthony Towns
PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Marcus Morris
PF: Ersan Illyasova
C: Andre Drummond
OUT: Nikola Pekovic (still recovering from surgery on right achilles)
OUT: Jodie Meeks (foot)
OUT: Brandon Jennings (achilles)
That's all I have for this one. This is a winnable game that the Wolves need to have if they want to continue to hover around .500. However, Detroit is no pushover, and Drummond could/will probably give the Wolves fits down low tonight. With that, here's my prediction: Wolves defeat Pistons 98-91; Wiggins (25pts) and Rubio (13asts) leads Minnesota, while Drummond goes off for 26 and 14.