Scouting Report: Wolves (17-18) vs. Bobcats (15-21) | Jan. 10, 2014

Scouting Report: Wolves (17-18) vs. Bobcats (15-21) | Jan. 10, 2014


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

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

View Timberwolves Game Notes

After an up and down week, the Wolves can end it right on Friday by beating the Charlotte Bobcats at home. The Bobcats, believe it or not, actually hold the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference right now with a 15-21 record.

The .500 hump has been a tough one for Minnesota to get over. The Wolves sit at 17-18 now, 2.5 games back from the Dallas Mavericks for eighth place in the Western Conference.

This is an important one for the Wolves. They’ve preached all season long about winning games they “should win.” From the outside looking in, this appears to be one of those games.

Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. on Fox Sports North and WCCO 830-AM.

Last Meeting

The Wolves were 0-2 against the Bobcats last season with the last game coming on Jan. 26 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Minnesota fell 102-101.

The Cats were led by Kemba Walker, who finished with 25 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks. He was 3-of-5 from the 3-point line. Former Wolves guard Ramon Sessions added 23 points, while Ben Gordon pitched in with 18. Gerald Henderson finished with 15 and Bismack Biyombo had 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. The Bobcats shot a scorching 50.7 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from the 3-point line.

The Wolves were without Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. Luke Ridnour (now with Bucks) led Minnesota with 22 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. J.J. Barea added 19 points off the bench, going 4-of-7 from the 3-point line. Ricky Rubio added 14 points and a game-high five steals. Andrei Kirilenko and Dante Cunningham both added 10 points. Rim protection was a problem for the Wolves. They had just four blocks compared to Charlotte’s mark of 10.

This Week’s Results

The Wolves are coming off of a tough home loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. The Suns took down the Wolves 104-103, thanks to a game-winning shot from Gerald Green.

It was an off night for Minnesota’s post players. Love and Pekovic were a combined 3-of-20 at halftime and finished just 10-of-36. Kevin Martin led Minnesota with 20 points. Pekovic finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Love had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Corey Brewer finished with 15 points, all coming in the second half.

Minnesota is 2-3 in its last five games.

Wolves Minute

Jan. 10, 2014

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Charlotte is coming off of a 97-83 home loss to the Washington Wizards. The Bobcats were outrebounded 46-38.

Henderson led Charlotte with 27 points and seven rebounds while shooting 10-of-19 from the field. Walker was the only other starter to hit double-digits, as he finished with 19. Sessions added 10 points off the bench. The Bobcats struggled from the free-throw line, shooting just 62.5 percent.

The Bobcats are 1-4 in their last five games.

What To Watch: Kevin Love vs. Al Jefferson

Chances are that Josh McRoberts will guard Love, as he is somewhat a stretch-4 as well, and plays a bit more on the perimeter. But Love and Jefferson are counted on to both score and rebound for their respective teams.

Fans likely remember that Love and Jefferson played together in Minnesota from 2008-2010. Those years were rebuilding years for the franchise and eventually, the team shipped off Jefferson to make way for Love. Many in the organization are still very fond of Jefferson, even though the team was going through some down years.

After playing in Utah for three seasons, Jefferson decided to call Charlotte home during the last offseason. This season, his numbers are a bit down, as he’s averaging 17 points per game to go with 10.1 rebounds. The one thing Jefferson does give his team is an inside scorer, something the team hasn’t had in quite some time.

Since his time playing with Jefferson, Love is a much different player, able to hit outside shots, rather than simply playing inside. Love is averaging a career-high 26.1 points and 4.1 assists, along with hauling in 13.2 rebounds per game.

Love is coming off of arguably his worst game of the season, scoring 15 points and hauling in 12 rebounds while shooting just 4-of-20 from the field. He’ll be looking to bounce back against his former teammate.

Injury Report

Forward Luc Mbah a Moute (groin) is questionable for Friday’s game.

Charlotte guard Jeffery Taylor (Achilles) is out for the season. Center Brendan Haywood (foot) and forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (hand) are out indefinitely, although Kidd-Gilchrist did return to practice earlier this week.

Probable Starters
  Timberwolves Bobcats
PG Ricky Rubio Kemba Walker
SG Kevin Martin Gerald Henderson
SF Corey Brewer Chris Douglas-Roberts
PF Kevin Love Josh McRoberts
C Nikola Pekovic Al Jefferson


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