Scouting Report: Wolves (3-2) vs. Mavericks (3-2) | Nov. 8, 2013

Scouting Report: Wolves (3-2) vs. Mavericks (3-2) | Nov. 8, 2013


Timberwolves vs. Mavericks | 7 PM — Target Center

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

Both Minnesota and Dallas sit at 3-2 right now and with the end target being a playoff appearance for the two, every game has high implications, even though it’s only the sixth game of the season.

Last season, for example, there were two games that separated the sixth seed from the eighth seed in the West and four games between the seventh and tenth seed in the West.

The Mavericks have an odd mixture for their roster with newly acquired guards Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis tossed in veterans Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter. It looks like this group will take park in “Dirk’s Last Stand” as the future Hall of Fame forward hopes to make one last run deep into the postseason.

The Wolves have the talent on their starting 5 to start games out hot, but bench play has been an issue as of late, especially with the injuries to Ronny Turiaf and Chase Budinger.

Head coach Rick Adelman hopes his second unit plays better in this contest.

Last Meeting

The last time the squads matched up at the Target Center, it wasn’t pretty for the Wolves. Dallas outscored the Wolves 44-33 in the second half on its way to a 100-77 win on March 10 last season.

While Carter can’t quite pull off the dunks he used to, he did score 22 points and haul in nine rebounds off the bench. Nowitzki scored 15 points, while Elton Brand (now with Hawks) had 10 points and 12 boards.

The Wolves, like most of the 2012-13 season, were a depleted unit. Minnesota was without Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirilenko. Derrick Williams played the 4 and led Minnesota with 18 points and nine rebounds. Former Maverick J.J. Barea led the bench with 16 points. Michael Gelabale (no longer in league) had 13 points while shooting 6-of-10 from the field. Center Greg Steimsma (now with Pelicans) finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Minnesota was a dreadful 2-of-18 from the 3-point line and was outrebounded 59-40.

Previous results against the Mavericks last season weren’t as bad for the Wolves. Minnesota split the four-game series.

This Week’s Results

After starting the season 3-0, the Wolves have dropped their last two games.

On Wednesday night at home, Minnesota dropped a 106-93 game to the Golden State Warriors. Minnesota’s bench play was off, scoring 10 points compared to Golden State’s 27.

Love led Minnesota with 26 points, 16 rebounds and six assists. Kevin Martin finished with 23 points. Brewer had a season-high 18 points, while Pekovic added 10.

The Wolves shot just 37.8 percent from the field and made just four 3-pointers.

On Monday night on the road, the Wolves lost 93-92 to Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Minnesota trailed by 15 going into the final period, but Love wasn’t able to hit a 3-pointer with two seconds left to give Minnesota the edge.

Martin led Minnesota with 23 points while hitting five 3-pointers. Love added 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Brewer and Williams both scored 13. No other player on the team besides Martin made a 3-pointer.

Dallas lost as well on Wednesday, falling 107-93 on the road to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Wolves Minute: Nov. 8, 2013

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Ellis led the team with 20 points, but had seven turnovers in the process. Shawn Marion and Jae Crowder each had 17 points, while Nowitzki added 16. The Mavericks were outrebounded 44-36.

Previous to that, the Mavericks hosted the Los Angeles Lakers and defeated them 123-104 behind 30 points and nine assists from Ellis. In total, the Mavericks had seven players hit double-digits in scoring, including all five starters. Crowder scored 18 points off the bench. Calderon finished with 12 points. Marion and Nowitzki both scored 11, while Samuel Dalmbert and DeJuan Blair added 10 each.

What To Watch: Kevin Love vs. Dirk Nowitzki

Nowitzki will already go down as one of the best power forwards in NBA history while Love is on his way there.

Both players missed major junks of last season due to injury. And both have recovered quite nicely.

This season, Nowitzki is averaging 19.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while shooting 52.6 percent from the 3-point line. Love is averaging 26.2 points, 14.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game and has had five or more assists in three straight games.

Both players are similar in that they both can shoot from the outside and stretch the floor, unlike most 4s. While Nowitzki might be a better pure shooter, Love isn’t far behind. Love is considered one of the best rebounders in the league. That can’t be said about the 15-year vet from Germany.

In two games against Minnesota last season, Nowitzki averaged 13 points, 5.5 rebounds and three assists per game.

Love didn’t play against the Mavericks last season due to his hand injury. During the 2011-12 season, though, he averaged 27.6 points, 13.3 rebounds and two assists in three games.

Injury Report

 The Wolves will be without Budinger, who is out while recovering from preseason left knee surgery. Turiaf is out with a radial head fracture and will be re-evaluated next week. Rookie Shane Larkin (ankle) practiced for the first time on Monday since offseason surgery, but isn’t expected to play.

Probable Starters
  Timberwolves Mavericks
PG Ricky Rubio Jose Calderon
SG Kevin Martin Monta Ellis
SF Corey Brewer Shawn Marion
PF Kevin Love Dirk Nowitzki
C Nikola Pekovic Samuel Dalembert


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