Scouting Report: Wolves (37-37) at Heat (52-22) | April 4, 2014
Timberwolves at Heat | 6:30 PM — American Airlines Arena
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
Editor's Programming Note: Due to the Twins/Indians game on Fox Sports North being delayed by weather this afternoon, there is a possibility the Timberwolves/Heat game will begin before the baseball game ends. If that is the case, the Wolves game will be broadcast on Fox Sports North Plus. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports North as regularly scheduled once the Twins game is over. CLICK HERE for FSN Plus' channel guide.
Getting Eastern Conference homecourt advantage is extremely important for a Miami Heat team that went down to the wire with the Indiana Pacers last season.
If both teams advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, homecourt could prove to be the difference.
While the Wolves aren’t a threat to the Heat in the standings, this is still an important game for a Miami team that is tied with the Indiana Pacers for first place in the Eastern Conference.
The odds are against Minnesota, as Miami is 30-6 at home this season.
April 4, 2014
The two teams last faced off on Dec. 7 at the Target Center and Miami came away with a 103-82 win behind 21 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists from LeBron James. Dwyane Wade added 19 points, while Ray Allen led the second unit with 11 points. Rashard Lewis finished with 10 points, going 2-of-4 from the 3-point line. The Heat shot an impressive 55.1 percent from the field.
Kevin Love was out for the Wolves. Kevin Martin led Minnesota in scoring with 19 points. He was just 1-for-7 from the 3-point line, though. Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Corey Brewer and Luc Mbah a Moute had 13 and 11 points, respectively.
This Week’s Results
The Timberwolves dropped a 114-104 game at home to the Clippers on Monday night, then recovered and beat the Memphis Grizzlies 102-88 in a must-win type game for the Grizz. Memphis is in the midst of a tight Western Conference playoff race, and the Wolves shut them down inside and handled Mike Conley on the outside. Against Memphis, Kevin Love finished with his third career triple-double (24 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists), while Kevin Martin had 21.
The Heat come into this game on a four-game winning streak, including a 93-83 win over the Raptors on Monday and a 96-77 win over the Bucks on Wednesday. It was a balanced win against Milwaukee, as LeBron James finished with 17, Chris Bosh finished with 15 and Mario Chalmers finished with 14 to lead all Heat scorers. Against the Raptors, a big game for Toronto as they try to stave off Chicago for that third seed in the East, James finished with 32 points on 11-of-20 shooting.
What To Watch: Kevin Love vs. LeBron James
This game features two players that can do it all on the offensive end. James has been compared to Magic Johnson when it comes to his ability to score, pass and rebound. While Love doesn’t handle the ball like James, he’s the league’s fourth-leading scorer (26 points per game, just 0.7 behind James) and is third in rebounds (12.56).
What Love has improved on most this season, though, is his ability to pass the ball. The All-Star starter is averaging a career-high 4.3 assists per game and already has two triple-doubles this season.
Love was out the last time the Wolves and Heat played, so you bet that he’ll be bringing it all against the two-time defending champions.
For Minnesota, Pekovic (right ankle bursitis) is questionable. Point guard A.J. Price (appendectomy) is out indefinitely.
For Miami, Dwyane Wade (strained left hamstring/Achilles), Ray Allen (stomach virus) and Greg Oden (sore back) are all questionable.
|PG||Ricky Rubio||Mario Chalmers|
|SG||Kevin Martin||Dwyane Wade*|
|SF||Corey Brewer||LeBron James|
|PF||Kevin Love||Udonis Haslem|
|C||Gorgui Dieng||Chris Bosh|
*-Denotes Questionable Tonight