Scouting Report: Wolves (23-22) vs. Grizzlies (24-20) | Jan. 31, 2014

Scouting Report: Wolves (23-22) vs. Grizzlies (24-20) | Jan. 31, 2014


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

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

This game has tremendous value in the Western Conference as both teams are looking to make a push into the playoffs.

Right now both teams are on the outside looking in. The Grizzlies (24-20) are in ninth place in the West, jut a half game back of the Dallas Mavericks from postseason play. The Wolves (23-22) sit in 10th place, two games back from the Mavericks.

There are plenty of games to play, but if the Wolves could get a win at home, it could have some consequences down the road when it comes to tiebreakers.

The Grizzlies have been on fire as of late and much of that has to do with getting All-Star center Marc Gasol back from injury. Oddly, the Grizzlies are playing better on the road (12-7) than they are at home (12-13). The Wolves hope to put that road record to 12-8 after Friday night’s game.

Last Meeting

This is the second time the Wolves and Grizzlies are set to play this season. Minnesota came away with a 101-93 win in Memphis back on Dec. 15.

Kevin Love led the way for Minnesota, finishing with 30 points, nine rebounds and four assists while shooting 4-of-8 from the 3-points line. Nikola Pekovic added 19 points, while J.J. Barea led the second unit with 15 points. Ricky Rubio scored 19 and Corey Brewer finished with a team-high 12 rebounds.

Wolves Minute

Jan. 31, 2014

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The Wolves shot a blistering 46.2 percent from the 3-point line.

The Grizzlies were without big man Gasol. Point guard Mike Conley carried the load for Memphis, scoring a team-high 28 points, going 4-of-8 from the 3-point line. Zach Randolph finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. No other starter scored more than seven points. Jon Leuer and Jerryd Bayless (now with Celtics) finished with 15 and 14 points, respectively.

This Week’s Results

The Wolves are coming off of an 88-77 win on Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Target Center.

It wasn’t the prettiest win as the Wolves shot just 20 percent from the 3-point line, but it did put the Wolves over .500. Love led the way with 30 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. Kevin Martin added 18 points. Dante Cunningham and Barea had 12 and 10 points off the bench, respectively.

The Wolves held the Pelicans to just 36.6 percent from the field.

Minnesota has won five of last six games.

The Grizzlies defeated the Sacramento Kings 99-89 on Wednesday at the Sleep Train Arena.

Conley led Memphis with 27 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 8-of-13 from the field. Big man Randolph had 18 points and four steals. Gasol scored 12 points. Mike Miller led the second unit with 11 points. The Grizzlies forced 15 Sacramento turnovers.

Memphis is 9-1 in its last 10 games.

What To Watch: Kevin Love vs. Zach Randolph

At 32 years old, Zach Randolph isn’t quite the player he used to be, but he’s still one of the strongest power forwards in the league and is still averaging a double-double for the season.

Randolph is averaging 17.1 points per game (highest mark since 2010-11), 10.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists (career-high). He’s a bruiser, but has excellent footwork which separates him from most power guys inside. On a negative note, Randolph is shooting just 44.5 percent from the field, marking his lowest mark since the 2005-06 season.

What haven’t we mentioned about Love? He’ll be trying to get Randolph to leave inside and hopefully open things up for the rest of his teammates. That’s the value of a stretch four. Love might have trouble inside against Randolph, like most players do. The fact of the matter is that Randolph is a rock inside.

On the season, Love is averaging 25 points, 12.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

Injury Report

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced on Tuesday afternoon that Pekovic underwent an MRI that revealed bursitis in his right ankle. Pekovic will be withheld from basketball activities for 7-10 days and will be reevaluated at that time. He will be sidelined indefinitely. Expect Ronny Turiaf to get the start for the Wolves. Rookie Gorgui Dieng will likely get extended minutes as well.

For Memphis, defensive stopper Tony Allen (wrist) is out indefinitely. Former Wolves forward Mike Miller (thumb) is questionable. Forward Quincy Pondexter (foot) is out for the season.

Probable Starters
  Timberwolves Grizzlies
PG Ricky Rubio Mike Conley
SG Kevin Martin Courtney Lee
SF Corey Brewer Tayshaun Prince
PF Kevin Love Zach Randolph
C Ronny Turiaf Marc Gasol


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