Scouting Report: Wolves (15-16) vs. Pelicans (14-15) | Jan. 1, 2014

Scouting Report: Wolves (15-16) vs. Pelicans (14-15) | Jan. 1, 2014


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

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

View Timberwolves Game Notes

The battle to get over .500. That’s been the story of Minnesota’s last few weeks and they will attempt to get to .500 against a team that is doing the exact same thing.

Led by Anthony Davis, the new-look (in team name and roster) Pelicans sit at 14-15, three games back from the Dallas Mavericks for the No. 8 seed.

The Pelicans assembled a unique roster in the offseason, making it clear that they intend on being a competitive team in the West. New Orleans acquired both Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday (both have less than five years of pro experience) to join Davis to help this New Orleans squad grow together and hopefully become a threat in the West.

The Wolves sit at 15-16 and play three Western Conference teams over an eight-day stretch, starting with the Pelicans on Wednesday. A win on Wednesday would certainly help dissolve the bad taste Minnesota has in its mouth from Monday’s controversial loss to Dallas.

Last Meeting

 The two squads last faced off on March 17 last season and Minnesota came away with a 97-95 home win. In place for injured forward Kevin Love, Derrick Williams (now with Kings) led Minnesota with 28 points. Ricky Rubio added 16 while shooting 7-of-11 from the field. Nikola Pekovic added 13 while Luke Ridnour (now with Bucks) scored 10.

Greivis Vasques (now with Raptors) had a team-high 24 points to lead Memphis. Robin Lopez (now with Blazers) added 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Davis added 17 points and nine boards.

The Wolves shot a scorching 56.3 percent from the field and won despite being outrebounded 41-20.

The Wolves were 2-0 against New Orleans last season.

This Week’s Results

Minnesota is coming off of a tough 100-98 loss to the Dallas Mavericks that ended on a controversial call.

Love had a game-high 36 points and 11 rebounds, and should have had the chance for two more points after getting fouled by Shawn Marion as the clock expired. The NBA admitted the mistake on Tuesday morning.

Wolves Minute

Jan. 1, 2014

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Kevin Martin finished with 19 points, while Pekovic added another double-double to his record, scoring 18 points to go with 10 rebounds. Wing Corey Brewer scored 16 points, 12 of those points came in the third quarter.

The Wolves trailed by 21 points at one time and battled back to tie the game at 81 after outscoring the Mavericks 38-19 in the third.

Going into that game, Minnesota was coming off of back-to-back wins over Washington and Milwaukee, respectively.

The Pelicans took down the Portland Trail Blazers at home on Monday night, 110-108, behind 31 points and 13 assists from point guard Holiday.

Davis was spectacular as well, finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Evans pitched in with 20 points off the bench, while Ryan Anderson scored 13. New Orleans shot 53.9 percent from the field, despite shooting 2-of-11 from the 3-point line.

The Pelicans are coming into the Target Center on a hot streak, having won three of their last four games.

What To Watch: Kevin Love vs. Anthony Davis

While Love will likely be guarded by fellow stretch-four Ryan Anderson for the majority of the game, all eyes will be on superstar Love and the up-and-coming star the Pelicans have in Davis.

Davis has burst onto the season this season, despite missing some time with a fractured wrist. The former Kentucky star is averaging 19.5 points per game to go with 10.5 rebounds and a league-high 3.2 blocks per game.

He’s currently fifth in player efficiency rating with a mark of 27.2 and has been the offensive and defensive type of player the Pelicans were hoping to get when they drafted Davis first overall last season… They just didn’t know if he’d be this good this fast.

That Love guy has been pretty solid this season as well.

Love is averaging 26.5 points, a league-leading 13.7 rebounds per game and a career-high 4.2 assists per game. His player efficiency of 28.7 ranks second in the league.

These are two players at the beginning of their career who look to be the Western Conference’s premiere frontcourt players for quite some time.

Injury Report

The Wolves will be without wing Chase Budinger, who has been cleared to practice after offseason knee surgery, but there is still no time-table for his return. Center Ronny Turiaf (elbow) has been cleared for 3-on-3 play, but has yet to be cleared for full contact. Both players will likely be out.

New Orleans guard Eric Gordon (hip) and forward Jason Smith (shoulder) are questionable for Wednesday’s game. Center Greg Stiemsma (knee) is out indefinitely.

Probable Starters
  Timberwolves Pelicans
PG Ricky Rubio Jrue Holiday
SG Kevin Martin Anthony Morrow
SF Corey Brewer Al Farouq-Aminu
PF Kevin Love Ryan Anderson
C Nikola Pekovic Anthony Davis


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