Scouting Report: Wolves (13-15) vs. Wizards (12-13) | Dec. 27, 2013

Scouting Report: Wolves (13-15) vs. Wizards (12-13) | Dec. 27, 2013


Timberwolves vs. Wizards | 7:00 PM — Target Center

Where to Watch: NBATV

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

View Timberwolves Game Notes

After four days off for a small holiday break, the Wolves will be back at it at home against the Washington Wizards.

Fans hope the break was enough to get the Wolves over two straight losses to the NBA’s LA duo. After defeating the Portland Trail Blazers last Wednesday, it looked like the Wolves were back on the road to the eighth seed, but that wasn’t the case as Minnesota was swept over the weekend.

The Wolves sit at 13-15 and are hoping to get back to .500 before they look towards the playoffs. After a slow start to the season, the Wizards sit at 12-13 which is good enough for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. They are just 1.5 games back from Atlanta for the No. 3 seed.

Last Meeting

The two teams last faced off on Nov. 19 and Washington came away with a 104-100 home win over the Wolves.

Sharpshooter Bradley Beal led Washington with 25 points. In fact, every starter for Washington hit double-digits in the scoring department. Nene finished with 20 points while shooting 7-of-12 from the field. Former Wolves forward Martell Webster added 17 points and nine rebounds. Former No. 1 pick John Wall had an impressive night at the point guard position, scoring 14 points while dishing out 16 assists. Marcin Gortat scored 14 points. The Wizards shot 48.2 percent from the field.

All five starters for the Wolves also hit double-digits, but the Wolves struggled from the free-throw line, shooting just 66.7 percent from the charity stripe. The Wolves were led by Kevin Love, who finished with 25 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Corey Brewer put up 16 points. Nikola Pekovic added 13. Kevin Martin struggled, finishing with 11 points while shooting just 4-of-17. J.J. Barea and Ricky Rubio finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Wolves Minute

Dec. 27, 2013

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This Week’s Results

Minnesota last played on Dec. 22 and lost a 120-116 overtime thriller on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers. Love was amazing in this one, finishing with 45 points, 19 rebounds and six assists. Fellow big man Pekovic was also impressive, scoring 34 points while hauling in 14 rebounds. Martin added 16 points while Barea led the second unit with 12. Rubio had 12 assists, but failed to score a single point. Minnesota shot 46.9 percent from the field, but was just 6-of-22 from the 3-point line.

Previous to that, the Wolves had an impressive home win over the Portland Trail Blazers before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

Washington defeated the Boston Celtics in Boston 106-99 on Saturday behind 27 points from Ariza. The wing was 5-of-8 from the 3-point line. Wall finished with 20 points, nine assists and six steals (the Celtics had just six total steals). Gortat had a double-double, scoring 13 points while hauling in 11 rebounds. Nene and Kevin Seraphin had 13 points each off the bench.

The was the team’s third straight win as it beat New York and Brooklyn on the road earlier in the month.

What To Watch: Ricky Rubio vs. John Wall

Both players can pass and steal. We know that. Rubio is first in the league with 2.68 steals per game. Wall is third with 2.24. When it comes to dishing it, Wall is third in the league with 9.1 assists. Rubio is sixth with eight assists per game.

These two differ when it comes to scoring, though. Wall is a threat to score on the offensive end (19.6 points per game, 41.8 FG%) while Rubio (9 ppg, 34.7 FG%) is not.

If the Wolves want to come away with a win in this game, and more importantly make a run in the West, they will need Rubio to step up his offensive game.

Injury Report

The Wolves will be without wing Chase Budinger, who is out while recovering from preseason left knee surgery. The good news is that Budinger has been cleared to practice for Minnesota. Center Ronny Turiaf is out indefinitely with a radial head fracture in his right elbow.

The Wizards will be without Al Harrington (knee) and Glen Rice Jr. (wrist). Seraphin (knee) is questionable.

Probable Starters
  Timberwolves Wizards
PG Ricky Rubio John Wall
SG Kevin Martin Bradley Beal
SF Corey Brewer Trevor Ariza
PF Kevin Love Trevor Booker
C Nikola Pekovic Marcin Gortat


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