Scouting Report: Wolves (7-4) at Wizards (2-7) | Nov. 19, 2013

Scouting Report: Wolves (7-4) at Wizards (2-7) | Nov. 19, 2013


Timberwolves at Wizards | 6:00 PM — Verizon Center

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North Plus

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

Desperation is a scary thing.

At 2-7, the Washington Wizards are a desperate team in need of a win. The team expected to make the playoffs at the beginning of the season, but right now, the Wizards are tied for last place in the Eastern Conference.

Wolves coach Rick Adelman noted at Monday’s practice that the Wizards are playing well individually, but they just can’t close things out as a team.

Minnesota has gotten off to the second hottest start in team history, sitting a 7-4, good for sixth place in the Western Conference. With a tough slate of games this week (Wizards, Clippers, Brooklyn, Houston), the Wolves would love nothing more than to get off to a good start at the Verizon Center on Tuesday night.

The game also marks the return of General Manager Milt Newton and President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders to Washington, if they decide to make the trip. Newton was Washington’s Vice President of Player Personnel from 2003 before being hired by Minnesota. Saunders coached the Wizards from 2009-2012.

Last Meeting

The two teams last faced off on March 6 at the Target Center last season. The Wolves came away with an 87-72 win over the Wizards behind 15 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and six steals from Ricky Rubio.

Derrick Williams led the team with 16 points while hauling in eight rebounds. Luke Ridnour (now with Bucks) added 15 as well. The effective bench combo of J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham combined for 23 points off the bench.

Minnesota forced 24 Washington turnovers in the win.

Wolves Minute

Nov. 19, 2013

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

John Wall led Washington with 19 points, but had six turnovers while doing so. All five Washington starters finished with double-digits, but its bench combined for just 14 points.

Trevor Ariza finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while former Wolves wing Martell Webster added 11. Posts Nene and Emeka Okafor (now with Suns) combined for 22 points, 22 rebounds and two blocks.

This Week’s Results

The Wolves are coming off a nice 106-88 win over the new-look Boston Celtics on Saturday night at the Target Center. While Corey Brewer and Rubio combined for just seven points on 3-of-13 shooting, the rest of the starters held their own.

Kevin Love had a team-high 23 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic each scored 20 points, and Pekovic matched Love’s rebounding total. Cunningham and Barea were effective off the bench again, scored 12 and 13 points, respectively. Cunningham added five steals, while former Purdue star Robbie Hummel pitched in eight points while logging 20 minutes and 27 seconds.

Previous to the Boston win, the Wolves lost a road game to the Nuggets on Friday after beating the Cavaliers at home on Wednesday.

The Wizards are in a bit of a funk, losing four straight games. The latest came on Saturday at the hands of the Cavaliers, 103-96, in overtime.

Beal led the Wizards with 28 points, but it took him 25 shots to do so. Nene added 24 points and seven rebounds. Marcin Gortat finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. Wall had an off night, scoring nine points while shooting 3-of-13 from the field.

What To Watch: Ricky Rubio vs. John Wall

Both are considered point guards of the future, but Rubio is a pass-first point guard, while Wall elects to penetrate.

This season, Rubio is averaging eight points, to go along with career-high marks of 4.8 rebounds, 9.6 assists and a league-leading 3.1 steals per game.

Wall is averaging 16.1 points, 9.1 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.

In two games against Washington last season, Rubio averaged 9.5 points, 8.5 assists and four rebounds. Wall on the other hand, averaged 16.5 points, six assists and two rebounds.

Injury Report

 The Wolves will be without wing Chase Budinger, who is out while recovering from preseason left knee surgery. The good news with Budinger is that he is back in the Twin Cities, rehabbing with the team. He was at practice on Monday and while he didn’t participate in practice, he did get some shots in. Center Ronny Turiaf is out indefinitely with a right elbow injury. Rookie wing Shabazz Muhammad is day-to-day with a sprained ankle. He did practice Monday, though. Washington forward Trevor Ariza (hamstring) isn’t likely to play against the Wolves. Forward Al Harrington did not practice Monday and isn’t likely to play on Tuesday.

Probable Starters
  Timberwolves Wizards
PG Ricky Rubio John Wall
SG Kevin Martin Bradley Beal
SF Corey Brewer Martell Webster
PF Kevin Love Nene
C Nikola Pekovic Marcin Gortat


For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.