Scouting Report: Wolves (11-11) at Spurs (17-4) | Dec. 13, 2013

Scouting Report: Wolves (11-11) at Spurs (17-4) | Dec. 13, 2013


Timberwolves at Spurs | 7:30 PM — AT&T Center

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

View Timberwolves Game Notes

This is a matchup of a team that has been successful for quite some time (San Antonio) and a young squad hoping to make a run in the Western Conference this season (Timberwolves.)

The Wolves have gotten themselves back to .500 this week, and as of Thursday night, Minnesota was 1.5games back of the eighth seed in the West. San Antonio on the other hand is 17-4 on the season and by the looks of it, the Spurs will be at the top of the West once again.

Minnesota was supposed to match up against San Antonio two Wednesdays ago in Mexico City, but due to some arena technical difficulties, the game has to be postponed.

This will be the first of three games Minnesota and San Antonio will play against each other this season.

Last Meeting

The Wolves battled the Spurs in their final game of the 2012-13 season and came away with a 108-105 win in San Antonio, despite being without Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love.

Derrick Williams (now with Kings) led Minnesota with 21 points and six rebounds. Chase Budinger led the bench with 15 points, while Dante Cunningham and J.J. Barea added 10 each for the second unit. Rubio and Greg Stiemsma (now with Pelicans) both scored 12 points. The Wolves shot 41.4 percent from the 3-point line and forced 17 San Antonio turnovers.

Tim Duncan and Gary Neal (now with Bucks) led San Antonio with 17 points. Duncan also added 14 rebounds – 12 coming on the defensive end. Parker finished with 15 points and eight assists, but was just 3-of-10 from the field. DeJaun Blair (now with Mavericks) had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench. The foursome of Cory Joseph, Aron Baynes, Nando De Colo and Manu Ginobili struggled off the bench, shooting a combined 4-of-21.

This Week’s Results

The Wolves are coming off of a 106-99 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night at the Target Center. It looked like the Wolves were out of it, as they trailed by 19 at one point and by 13 at halftime.

Wolves Minute

Dec. 13, 2013

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Thanks to a big second half from Love and Pekovic and a big fourth quarter from Robbie Hummel, the Wolves were able to get back to .500. Love led the way with 26 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. Ricky Rubio added 21 (nine in the first quarter), to go along with seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. Pekovic had his 10th double-double of the season, scoring 20 points while hauling in 10 rebounds. Corey Brewer and Hummel each had 10 points. All 10 of Hummel’s came in the fourth quarter.

Previous to that, the Wolves beat Detroit on Tuesday night on the road after losing to Miami at home on Saturday.

The Spurs are coming off of a 109-77 thumping over the Milwaukee Bucks in Wisconsin on Wednesday night.

Old man Duncan finished with 21 points while hauling in 16 rebounds despite playing less than 25 minutes. Tony Parker scored 15 points, while Kawhi Leonard finished with 13. Sharpshooter Danny Green finished with 10. Off the bench, Marco Belinelli and Cory Joseph has 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Before that, the Spurs took down the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday after losing to the Eastern Conference’s hottest team, the Indiana Pacers, on Saturday night.

What To Watch: Kevin Love vs. Tim Duncan

Fans and media members are quick to dismiss of Duncan’s skills. Sure, he’s in his 17th season and isn’t as effective as he once was, averaging 13.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this season. Duncan is still very effective and by getting his team to the Finals last year proves that he’s still one of the league’s best frountcourt players.

If Duncan is ever officially dethroned as the game’s best power forward (save the power forward/center argument for later please), Love appears as if he’d be the next guy up. While Duncan generally stays in the paint, he does have a very nice midrange jump shot, including his nice corner bank that we see so often.

Love likes to stretch the court. This season, he’s averaging 23.8 points, 13.8 rebounds (1st in NBA) and 4.2 assists (career high) per game. After returning after missing Saturday night’s game , Love has had two great games, averaging 26 points, 15.5 rebounds and six assists in those games. For the Wolves to come away with a win, Love might need to have another game like the last two.

Injury Report

The Wolves will be without wing Chase Budinger, who is out while recovering from preseason left knee surgery. Center Ronny Turiaf is out indefinitely with a radial head fracture in his right elbow.

San Antonio center Tiago Splitter (calf) is day-to-day. He’s missed the last two games for San Antonio. If Splitter doesn’t start, expect Jeff Ayres to take his place. Ayres is averaging 2.3 points and three rebounds per game this season.

Probable Starters
  Timberwolves Spurs
PG Ricky Rubio Tony Parker
SG Kevin Martin Danny Green
SF Corey Brewer Kawhi Leonard
PF Kevin Love Tim Duncan
C Nikola Pekovic Jeff Ayers


For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.