Scouting Report: Wolves (38-38) vs. Spurs (60-17) | April 8, 2014
Timberwolves vs. Spurs | 7:00 PM — Target Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North Plus | CHANNEL GUIDE
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
It’s true. Both teams are at very different places in their seasons.
The San Antonio Spurs are 4.5 games up from the Oklahoma City Thunder for the first seed in the West, and with a win on Tuesday, they’ll clinch the division.
The Wolves are out of the playoff hunt, sitting in 10th place in the Western Conference. Still, though, there’s a lot for the Wolves on the line. Minnesota is hoping to have a winning season with six games remaining. Even getting to the 40-win mark would be a nice achievement considering the team hasn’t done so since the 2004-05 season.
Getting a win against the Spurs won’t be easy, considering how dominant they’ve been this season combined with the fact that the Wolves have players dealing with injuries.
Note that the game is on Fox Sports North Plus. This is the makeup game from the Mexico City postponement in December, and tickets are still available for those hoping to catch a Wolves game as we play the final four home contests of 2013-14 over the next eight days. Don’t Miss A Moment.
April 8, 2014
The Wolves are 0-2 against the Spurs this season with the last game coming on Jan. 12 in Minnesota. The Spurs came away with a 104-86 win behind 17 points from Kawhi Leonard. The ageless-wonder Tim Duncan finished with 15 points and a team-high 10 boards. Tony Parker and Matt Bonner had 14 points each. Marco Belinelli and Patrick Mills has 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The Spurs shot an impressive 56.8 percent from the field.
Big man Nikola Pekovic led Minnesota with 22 points. Kevin Love added 14, while Alexey Shved led the second unit with 11 points. No other player hit double-digits for the Wolves. The team struggled from the field, shooting just 35.5 percent.
This Week’s Results
Minnesota is coming off of a 100-92 road loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday. That was the night after a double-overtime win over the Miami Heat. Understandably, a few players were winded.
Minnesota was led by Ricky Rubio, who had 18 points, 10 assists and three steals. Corey Brewer had 15 points and a game-high five steals. Dante Cunningham, Gorgui Dieng and Robbie Hummel all had 12 points. Minnesota was without Love, Pekovic and Kevin Martin.
The Wolves are 2-3 in their last five games.
San Antonio came away with a 112-92 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. Leonard and Manu Ginobili had 26 points each to lead the Spurs. Duncan had 13 points, while Tony Parker had 10 points in just over nine minutes. Parker was forced to leave the game due to back spasms.
Coach Gregg Popovich was very “Pop-like,” playing 13 players in the game. Eleven of them scored.
The Spurs are 4-1 in their last five games.
What To Watch: Kevin Love vs. Tim Duncan
The battle of old vs. new. Duncan is considered one of, if not, the best power forward in NBA history. It’s tough to argue and at 37 years old, the Big Fundamental is still going strong. He’s still averaging nearly a double-double (15.2 points and 9.7 rebounds per game), but more importantly he has his team in first place in the Western Conference. He won’t spread the court like Love does and probably won’t put up 30 points and 15 rebounds, but he’ll give you solid and consistent play, which is what Duncan’s game is all about.
In two games against Minnesota this season, Duncan is averaging, 13.5 points, 11 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game (the most against any opponent).
Love has put himself into the history books this season, and with six games remaining, he has the opportunity to add on to that.
The All-Star is already averaging 26 points per game (4th in NBA) to go with 12.6 rebounds (3rd in NBA) and a career-high 4.4 assists. Love hopes to go out on a strong note. He’s listed as a game-time decision for Tuesday’s game, but he said after Monday’s practice that he’ll play.
In two games against San Antonio this season, Love is averaging 28 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic (right ankle bursitis), Kevin Martin (right heel), Shabazz Muhammad (sprained right MCL) and Chase Budinger (sprained right ankle) are all out. Kevin Love is a game-time decision.
San Antonio center Aron Baynes (fractured right rib cage) is doubtful. Point guard Tony Parker (back spasms) is doubtful.
|PG||Ricky Rubio||Cory Joseph|
|SG||J.J. Barea||Danny Green|
|SF||Corey Brewer||Kawhi Leonard|
|PF||Kevin Love||Tim Duncan|
|C||Gorgui Dieng||Tiago Splitter|