Scouting Report: Wolves (18-21) vs. Jazz (14-27) | Jan. 18, 2014

Scouting Report: Wolves (18-21) vs. Jazz (14-27) | Jan. 18, 2014


Timberwolves at Jazz | 7:00 PM — Target Center

Where to Watch: No Local TV/NBA League Pass

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

View Timberwolves Game Notes

Utah’s record is 14-27. Yes, that is the worst record in the Western Conference, but this team actually plays some pretty entertaining ball.

There’s young point guard Trey Burke who is growing every game. There’s talented big man Derrick Favors. There’s the do-it-all guy in Gordon Hayward. This a team with young talent and heart.

The Wolves learned earlier this week to not sleep on certain opponents, and Rick Adelman even addressed that after Wednesday’s press conference following the team’s loss to the Sacramento Kings. Minnesota has no reason to overlook teams, particularly after dropping its third straight game last night in Toronto. It’s currently on the bottom half of the Western Conference and on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs.

The team’s schedule has looked a bit friendlier over the last week, but the Wolves haven’t exactly taken advantage of that. They’ll get another opportunity tonight at the Target Center.

Last Meeting

The Wolves were 0-4 against the Jazz last season. The last game came on April 15 last season, and the Wolves fell 96-80 at home.

Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic were both out for the Wolves. Derrick Williams (now with Kings) led Minnesota with 18 points. Dante Cunningham and J.J. Barea led the bench with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Minnesota shot just 42.7 percent from the field.

Al Jefferson (now with Bobcats) led Utah with 22 points and eight rebounds. Mo Williams (now with Blazers) contributed with 15, while Randy Foye (now with Nuggets) pitched in with 14. Derrick Favors led the second unit with 12. Utah was spectacular from the free-throw line, going 21-of-23.

This Week’s Results

The Wolves dropped a 94-89 contest against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, falling victim once again in a city that hasn’t treated Minnesota well over its history. Minnesota is now 3-16 lifetime in Toronto, and perhaps what stings the most is this particular loss put the Wolves three games under .500 for the first time this season. They’ve teetered around that .500 mark since late-November, but with Utah at home followed by four-game road trip looming, Minnesota must find a way to put wins together before they drift too far below. They’re 1-4 in their last five.

In Toronto last night, Kevin Martin had 18 points and Kevin Love added 16 points and 12 rebounds, but one of the biggest differences in the game came team-wide behind the arc. Minnesota shot 3-of-18 from 3 last night (16.7 percent), while Toronto shot 11-of-24 (45.8 percent).

The Jazz are also playing the tail-end of back-to-backs tonight after beating Detroit 110-89 last night in Auburn Hills. Trey Burke had 20 points and 12 assists, while Marvin Williams had 17 and Richard Jefferson had 13. The Jazz shot 9-of-22 from 3-point range (40.9 percent) while holding the Pistons to 4-of-16 shooting from deep (25 percent). Utah is 3-2 in its last five.

What To Watch: Ricky Rubio vs. Trey Burke

Rubio talked earlier this week that he needs to get back into a rhythm with his game. He finished Friday night’s game with six points on 2-of-6 shooting, four assists and four rebounds.

The Wolves hope he can take advantage of this matchup with this former Michigan point guard.

So far, the rookie Burke has been pretty impressive, averaging 13.9 points and just 1.9 turnovers per game. Timberwolves fans may remember that at least for a few hours, Burke’s rights were owned by the Timberwolves after the team drafted him before trading him for what ultimately became Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng.

Injury Report

The Wolves appear to be at full strength. For Utah, forward Gordon Hayward (hip) is questionable for Saturday’s game. If he can’t play, expect the Jazz to sub in Richard Jefferson.

Probable Starters
  Timberwolves Jazz
PG Ricky Rubio Trey Burke
SG Kevin Martin Alec Burks
SF Corey Brewer Marvin Williams
PF Kevin Love Richard Jefferson
C Nikola Pekovic Derrick Favors


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