Tonight the Wolves continue their West Coast road trip against Sacramento. This is not the same Kings team you may be used to over the past several seasons, as the Kings are currently 14-12 and it appears young players like Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox are starting to get things figured out. The Kings beat the Wolves in the last game Jimmy Butler was ever in a Wolves uniform 121-110. The Wolves are 9-5 since the Butler trade but are back under .500 and need to start racking up some wins against teams they should beat. Can they get back to .500 or will the Wolves head to Phoenix 2 games under?
What: Wolves @ Kings When: 9:00 PM CT Where: Golden 1 Center Where to watch: Fox Sports North Where to listen: 830 AM WCCO What to watch for:
Guard Battle: The main reason Sacramento is currently 14-12 is because both De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield are averaging over 18 PPG so far this season. They have shown tremendous growth in leading the young bunch of Kings. The Wolves will need to lock them down if they are to win tonight. If they can take control of the game early on they will be able to frustrate Sacramento and come away with a win. If they allow Fox and Hield to stick around then the game will get more difficult as the Kings gain confidence. Jeff Teague and Andrew Wiggins need to be on their guard.
Dodging Bullets: The main reason the Kings are such a good team offensively is because of the various options they have from deep. Nemanja Bjelica, Bogdan Bogdanovich, Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox are all shooting above 37% from 3. Keeping the Kings quiet from beyond the arc is imperative. But also being able to match the Kings when the 3's start to drop is a benefit too. The Wolves held the Kings quiet in their first matchup of the year (8-22 from 3) and hopefully that will continue tonight.
Cauley-Stein vs KAT: Willie Cauley-Stein has had some success against Karl-Anthony Towns throughout his career, but Towns has made monumental strides defensively since Jimmy Butler left town. Cauley-Stein had 25 points in the first matchup between these two teams this year. If KAT can keep Cauley-Stein at bay that will help the Wolves win the battle inside. I like my chances with KAT against anybody.
Projected starters Minnesota: PG Jeff Teague, SG Andrew Wiggins, SF Robert Covington, PF Taj Gibson, C Karl-Anthony Towns
Sacramento: PG De"Aaron Fox, SG Buddy Hield, SF Iman Shumpert III, PF Nemanja Bjelica, C Willie Cauley-Stein Injury Report Minnesota: OUT - Jerryd Bayless (knee) PROBABLE - Robert Covington (knee) Sacramento: Prediction
The Wolves have been dealing with injuries throughout the road trip but if they are at full strength it will be tough for Sacramento to match up. Look for a big game from KAT and for Derrick Rose to exploit his matchup with Marvin Bagley III and for the Wolves to head into Phoenix back at .500.
Wolves 115, Kings 104 :)
Seth is host of The Scoop on KLGR Radio out of Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Listen to episodes of The Scoop here.