Scouting Report: Wolves at Grizzlies
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Wolves (18-29) vs Grizzlies (31-18) at 5:00 PM, FedEx Forum
Where to Watch: My 29
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
View Timberwolves Game Notes
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The Wolves have gone 1-5 in their last six games, all of which were home contests. Can they turn things around on the road? They’ll get their chance tonight in Memphis against the Grizzlies. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. on My29 and 830 WCCO-AM.
The Grizzlies look quite different after a trade that recently transpired, as top scorer Rudy Gay ended up leaving Memphis. Gay, who had been a Grizzly since 2006, was swapped for Ed Davis and Tayshaun Prince.
Still remaining is a solid core of Zach Randolph (15.7 PPG, 11.7 RPG), Marc Gasol (13.7 PPG) and Mike Conley (13.0 PPG, 5.9 APG). Although the Grizzlies’ offensive marks are not spectacular, their defensive numbers stand out by holding opponents to the lowest field goals made across the league along with the lowest points per game average (90.0 PPG). They have also compiled the most rebounds of any team in the league (38.8 RPG).
Last Time Out: April 17, 2012
The Wolves lost their 11th straight game when the Memphis Grizzlies defeated them 91-84 on April 17, 2012.
Rudy Gay led Memphis with 28 points and nine rebounds, and Zach Randolph added 16 and 11 for a team that has been inching closer to the fourth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
"We've been through the bottom, being in Minnesota's position, knowing you're not going to be in the playoffs," Gay said. "We don't expect anything to happen. We don't expect to shoot our way out of it just because we're missing. We don't expect to lose. We're fighters."
J.J. Barea spearheaded the Wolves’ offensive efforts with 28 points and eight assists. Nikola Pekovic logged 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Key Matchup: Zach Randolph and Derrick Williams
Randolph comes into tonight’s game averaging 15.7 points per game along with 11.7 boards. Once Rudy Gay left in a recent trade with Toronto, he became Memphis’ top offensive contributor along with fellow post player Marc Gasol. The Wolves have faced several tough post teams lately—especially the Los Angeles Clippers and the New York Knicks—and tonight will be no different.
“Yeah, they score a lot of points in the paint,” Derrick Williams said. “I believe they’re still top five. They had a huge trade go on, they’ve picked it up, and you can see how good they’re playing. Z-Bo speaks for himself, and Gasol, they’re all playing great right now.”
Meanwhile, the Wolves’ starting power forward for the last 12 games, Williams, is looking like he is settling in more within Minnesota’s offense. Once a player who almost seemed timid to shoot, Williams is taking the ball to the rack with more purpose and rising up to shoot with more confidence. He tied his season high with 17 shot attempts last game, resulting in 19 total points. Carmelo Anthony torched the Wolves’ power forwards for 36 points on Friday, and tonight will not be easy, either.
Injury report presented by TSR Injury Law
The Timberwolves traveled without Andrei Kirilenko on this road trip and will be without the 11-year veteran both tonight in Memphis and tomorrow in Cleveland. Wolves guard J.J. Barea took the trip and did practice yesterday, but his left foot was sore from falling in the paint against the Knicks on Friday and said he would test out his foot today before game time to see how he’s feeling. For the Grizzlies, forward Quincy Pondexter is questionable tonight with a knee injury.
|Tonight's Probable Starters|
|PG||Ricky Rubio||Mike Conley|
|SG||Luke Ridnour||Tony Allen|
|SF||Mickael Gelabale||Tayshaun Prince|
|PF||Derrick Williams||Zach Randolph|
|C||Nikola Pekovic||Marc Gasol|