Scouting Report: Wolves (31-31) vs. Bucks (13-50) | March 11, 2014
Timberwolves vs. Bucks | 7:00 PM — Target Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
Editor's Note: Be sure to watch Timberwolves.com's Pre-Pregame show from 6-6:30 PM streamed live on the website tonight before the Wolves/Bucks game. Bridget Anderson, Kyle Ratke and Mark Remme will be hosting a social media-based show that also previews tonight's game. Send your Wolves questions via Twitter using the hashtag #AskWolves. We will answer your questions on the show.
The numbers don’t lie. The Milwaukee Bucks have just 13 wins this season and looked poised to have a top-3 pick for the 2014 NBA Draft.
With that being said, this team has plenty of young pieces that are intriguing such as Brandon Knight (third year in league), Larry Sanders (fourth), Khris Middleton (second), Giannis Antetokounmpo (rookie) and Nate Wolters (rookie).
The Bucks are allowing more than 102 points per game and on the season, they are scoring just 94. That’s not a great winning equation, but the team has scored 100 or more points in four straight games going into last night’s game against the Orland Magic.
“They are playing really well offensively. They’re just going out there and playing,” said Wolves coach Rick Adelman after Monday’s practice. “That’s not a given. They’ve blown people out. They’ve put up a lot of points on the board. Another team that you look at the people coming off their bench. They’ve all played in the league. They’re all good players… We can’t worry about you know, what their record is because they’re certainly playing better now than they were earlier in the year.”
The two teams last faced off in Milwaukee on Dec. 28 and the Wolves came away with a 117-95 win. Kevin Love led the Wolves with 33 points, 15 boards and six assists. Kevin Martin had a nice game from behind the 3-point line, shooting 4-of-7. Nikola Pekovic had 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Corey Brewer added 12 points. The Wolves shot 45.8 percent (11-24) from the 3-point line.
Milwaukee was led by Middleton, who finished with 23 points and nine rebounds. O.J. Mayo had a bench-high 19 points, while Knight had 18. Milwaukee struggled from the free-throw line, shooting just 10-of-17.
This Week’s Results
The Wolves are coming off of a 111-104 home loss to the Toronto Raptors. Minnesota struggled to defend the 3-point shot, allowing the Raptors to shoot 58.3 percent (14-24) from deep.
Love led the Wolves with 26 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Martin added 20 points, while Pekovic and Brewer had 17 points each. Brewer tied a career-high with six steals, while Pekovic hauled in 11 boards.
March 11, 2014
Minnesota is 3-2 in its last five games.
The Bucks are coming off a 105-98 win over the Orlando Magic last night. Five players scored in double figures led by Brandon Knight’s 24 and Khris Middleton’s 21. That puts Milwaukee at 2-3 in their last five games and 3-7 in their last 10.
What To Watch: Kevin Love vs. O.J. Mayo
These two players will always be linked. The Memphis Grizzlies drafted Love with the No. 5 overall pick but was later traded with Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins to the Wolves for Mayo, Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric and Greg Buckner.
Since then, it’s safe to say the Wolves got the better end of that deal. Minnesota fans have gotten an All-Star in Love and a franchise building block.
Mayo has played for three teams during his five-year career, and while he’s not considered a bust, he hasn’t performed up to Love’s level (not many have). This season (his first with Milwaukee), Mayo is averaging 11.8 points, his lowest since the 2010-11 season. He’s also shooting a career-low 40.2 percent. Mayo is still one of the better scorers in the league, but he hasn’t found his place on a roster in the NBA just yet.
Minnesota center Ronny Turiaf (bone bruise in right knee) is out indefinitely.
Milwaukee guard Carlos Delfino (right foot surgery) will miss the entire season. Center Larry Sanders (broken right orbital bone) and forward Ekpe Udoh (swollen right knee) are out indefinitely.
|PG||Ricky Rubio||Brandon Knight|
|SG||Kevin Martin||O.J. Mayo|
|SF||Corey Brewer||Ersan Ilyasova|
|PF||Kevin Love||Khris Middleton|
|C||Nikola Pekovic||Zaza Pachulia|