By: Jonah Sprinkel
After a dagger to the heart courtesy of LeBron James and a wild NBA trade deadline a mid season game against the lottery bound Chicago Bulls feels almost meaningless. Until you realize that every game counts for playoff standings and the Wolves want home court. So, without further ado, the preview.
What: Wolves (34-23) @ Bulls (18-35)
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
When: 8:30 p.m. CT
Where to watch: ESPN
Where to listen: 830 WCCO
What to watch for
Tribute videos: Former Bulls Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson will be honored by their former organization during the first quarter of tonight’s game. Before this year, Butler spent every NBA minute in a Bulls uniform. The same can nearly be said about Gibson, except for the 23 games he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder at the end of last season. In total, Butler and Gibson combined for 27,050 minutes played for Chicago.
Former Wolves: In case you did not get the memo, former Wolves phenom Zach LaVine recently returned from the ACL tear he suffered last year. As evidenced here, LaVine is 100 percent healthy. With Kris Dunn playing better than expected, though he currently has a concussion, last off-season’s trade seems to have worked out for both Minnesota and Chicago.
Struggles vs. East: After losing to the Cavaliers last Wednesday, the Wolves record against Eastern Conference teams dropped to nine and 14. The Wolves are the only team in the top eight of the Western Conference standings with a losing record versus the East. To put this in context, the San Antonio Spurs are 15 and 10 against the East while the Thunder are 15 and 8. If the Wolves had won only three more of these games they would have a game and a half lead on the Spurs for the third seed in the West.
Minnesota: PG Jeff Teague, SG Andrew Wiggins, SF Jimmy Butler, PF Taj Gibson, C Karl-Anthony Towns
Chicago: PG Jerian Grant, SG Zach LaVine, SF Justin Holiday, PF Bobby Portis, C Robin Lopez
The Wolves win by 8 and keep it uncomfortably close against a team they should wipe off the floor.
Please do not sign Derrick Rose.
Instead, please give Tyus more minutes.
Every Wolves fan