Scouting Report: Wolves (36-37) vs. Grizzlies (44-30) | April 2, 2014
Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies | 7:00 PM — Target Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
When looking at the standings from the fifth to ninth seed in the Western Conference, it’s unfortunate that a very good team won’t be able to represent their city in the playoffs.
Unfortunately for Wolves fans, they are in 10th place and out of the hunt. The Grizzlies, on the other hand, are pretty much playing in a playoff game every night, sitting in seventh place, playing musical chairs with the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns for the final two spots. They are just two games back from the Golden State Warriors for the sixth seed.
Since the return of big man Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies have been one of the hottest teams in the league. That could be problematic for Minnesota, who will likely be without bruiser Nikola Pekovic (ankle). If Pekovic can’t go, expect rookie Gorgui Dieng to start. Dieng was recently named the Western Conference’s Rookie of the Month.
April 2, 2014
The Wolves have faced off against the Grizzlies three times this season and are 1-2. The last game came on March 24 and Minnesota fell 109-92 in Memphis.
Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 23 points and six assists. Zach Randolph added 17 points, while fellow big man Gasol put up 14 points and 12 boards. Tayshaun Prince and Ed Davis had 12 points each, while Mike Miller had 11 points off the bench. Memphis shot 52.7 percent from the field.
Kevin Love had 16 points for Minnesota. Dieng had a nice game, finishing with 11 points and 17 rebounds. Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin had 15 and 13 points, respectively. The Wolves shot like they were playing with a medicine ball, shooting just 37.8 percent.
This Week’s Results
Minnesota is coming off of a 114-104 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. Love led Minnesota with 20 points and 13 boards. Dieng led the second unit with 14 points. Chase Budinger and Kevin Martin had 12 points each, while rookies Shabazz Muhammad and Robbie Hummel each scored 11. Pekovic exited in the first quarter after aggravating his right ankle injury.
The Wolves are 2-3 in their last five games.
Memphis is coming off of a 94-92 road win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday. Randolph led the way with 20 points and 11 boards. Conley and Courtney Lee added 19 points each. Gasol rounded it out with 13 points and eight boards.
The Grizzlies are 3-2 in their last five games.
What To Watch: Kevin Love vs. Zach Randolph
Love has made it known that he respects Randolph’s physical play, but he doesn’t exactly like guarding him. We have a feeling a lot of other players feel the same way about the lefty. Love has hinted that he’s been a bit tired and worn down lately. It will be interesting to see how coach Rick Adelman uses him against the frontline of Randolph and Gasol.
In three games against the Wolves this season, Randolph is averaging 21 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Love’s game has tailed off a bit over the last week, but he’s still on pace to go down in the record books for the Wolves in a variety of categories. The Wolves took yesterday off of practice, so that might have given the All-Star a chance to get some rest.
In three games against the Grizzlies this season, Love is averaging 24.7 points and 10.7 rebounds.
For Minnesota, Pekovic (right ankle bursitis) is questionable. Point guard A.J. Price (appendectomy) and center Ronny Turiaf (bone bruise in right knee) are both out indefinitely.
Memphis guard Quincy Pondexter (stress fracture in right foot) is out for the season.
|PG||Ricky Rubio||Mike Conley|
|SG||Kevin Martin||Courtney Lee|
|SF||Corey Brewer||Tayshaun Prince|
|PF||Kevin Love||Zach Randolph|
|C||Gorgui Dieng||Marc Gasol|
*-Denotes Questionable status for tonight