Scouting Report: Wolves (39-38) vs. Bulls (45-32) | April 9, 2014
Timberwolves vs. Bulls | 7:00 PM — Target Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
The Wolves aren’t going to make the postseason, but they can impact how certain playoff matchups look. That will continue on Wednesday night when they battle the Chicago Bulls at the Target Center.
Chicago has done an incredible job of “life after Derrick Rose,” currently sitting tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with a 45-32 record.
Still, the Bulls are just two games back from the Brooklyn Nets, and could potentially fall down to the No. 5 spot. It may not seem all that important, but we’ve seen just how important home court can be in the playoffs.
The Wolves are hoping to reach 40 wins for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
April 9, 2014
The two teams last faced off on January 27 in Chicago and the Wolves came away with a 95-86 win. Kevin Love led the way with a game-high 31 points. Ronny Turiaf had a big night off the bench, scoring 14 points and hauling in seven boards. Chase Budinger and Corey Brewer had 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Carlos Boozer led Chicago with 20 points and 14 rebounds. D.J. Augustine and Jimmy Butler had 19 and 16 points, respectively. Taj Gibson and Mike Dunleavy scored 10 points each. Chicago shot just 37.6 percent from the field.
This Week’s Results
Minnesota is coming off of a 110-91 win over the San Antonio Spurs at the Target Center on Tuesday. Ricky Rubio led the with 23 points and seven assists. Love added 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Gorgui Dieng joined the double-double club as well with 12 points and 15 boards. Corey Brewer scored 14 points, 12 coming in the first half. Luc Mbah a Moute and Ronny Turiaf had 11 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench.
The Wolves are 3-2 in their last five games.
Chicago is coming off of a 96-78 road win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday. Augustin led the second unit with 25 points. Noah added 21 points and 12 boards. Boozer and Kirk Hinrich had 16 and 11 points, respectively.
The Bulls have won five straight games.
What To Watch: Gorgui Dieng vs. Joakim Noah
Although Dieng is just a rookie, he’s got a lot in common with Noah already. The two are excellent on the defense end. Obviously Dieng isn’t on the level Noah is, but with Dieng’s evolving offense and shot-blocking ability, Noah might be something for Dieng to strive for.
The rookie will have his hands full on the offensive end. Although he had a double-double against Tim Duncan on Tuesday night, he shot just 4-of-15 from the field. Noah will be looking for similar results.
By the end of the week, Dieng will have went against Duncan, Noah and if healthy, Dwight Howard. Yikes. Welcome to the league, rookie.
For Minnesota, Chase Budinger (ankle) and Shabazz Muhammad (knee) are out. Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin are doubtful.
Chicago All-Star guard Derrick Rose (right knee surgery) is out for the season.
|PG||Ricky Rubio||Kirk Hinrich|
|SG||Robbie Hummel||Jimmy Butler|
|SF||Corey Brewer||Mike Dunleavy|
|PF||Kevin Love||Carlos Boozer|
|C||Gorgui Dieng||Joakim Noah|