Scouting Report: Wolves at Raptors
Web Editorial Associate
Wolves (1-0) at Raptors (0-2) — 5 PM, Air Canada Centre (Toronto)
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North, NBA TV
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
Got questions during tonight’s game? Send them to Wolves Radio via Twitter using the hash tag #WolvesRadio!
Minnesota traveled to Canada this weekend in preparation for their second game of the season—a matchup against the 0-2 Toronto Raptors of the Eastern Conference.
Tipoff is at 5 p.m. central time at Air Canada Centre, on both Fox Sports North and NBA TV. The game will also be broadcast on 830 WCCO-AM.
Toronto dropped a heartbreaker to open their season against Indiana, as George Hill scored the go-ahead basket with two seconds left to give the Pacers the 90-88 victory. The Raptors were outscored 27-17 in the fourth quarter, and Andrea Bargnani’s last-second jumper fell short in front of a capacity crowd at their home court. Toronto then lost on Saturday night in Brooklyn’s brand new Barclays Center, falling 107-100 to a Nets team that featured Brook Lopez’ 27 points and 19 from Deron Williams. Kyle Lowry had 28 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while DeMar DeRozan recorded 25 points.
Minnesota controlled the majority of its Friday night win over Sacramento, as Kings center DeMarcus Cousins picked up some early fouls and spent considerable time on the bench. The Timberwolves used a hot first quarter to build an early lead, only to have the Kings race back in the third and assume a five-point advantage. Minnesota’s bench helped their team on a 12-0 run, eventually regaining control for the win. J.J. Barea had 21 points and five assists in 28 minutes, and the Timberwolves bench outscored that of the Kings’ by a 46-18 margin.
Last Time Out: Jan. 9, 2012
The last time these two teams faced off was early in the 2011-12 season, a game that still had a fresh feeling to it with post-lockout play being resumed only a few weeks prior.
Minnesota suffered from poor shooting, especially in the fourth quarter when they converted just 6-of-20 field goal attempts. They shot 34 percent for the game. Toronto enjoyed a 44 percent clip from the field along with a sharp 92 percent from the free throw line.
Andrea Bargnani dropped 31 points for the Raptors, and Amir Johnson had his second straight double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. J.J. Barea led the Wolves with 16 points, and Kevin Love recorded 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Key Matchup: Kyle Lowry and J.J. Barea
Lowry, despite coming off two straight losses, looked impressive in his last contest, logging 28 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a well-rounded effort against Brooklyn; he also dropped 21 points in the season opener against Indiana. The former Houston guard was acquired by Toronto to help run the offense, and he has looked sharp as a scorer, shooting over 50 percent from the field in each of his two games this year.
J.J. Barea was a much-needed boost for a Timberwolves offense that shot 36 percent on Friday night against Sacramento. The fiery guard took several hard drives to the rim and converted seemingly without difficulty, ending up with 21 points and a victory for Minnesota. When Lowry and Barea face off against each other, you’ll see two dynamic guards trying to do their best to bring energy to their respective squads.
|Tonight's Probable Starters|
|PG||Luke Ridnour||Kyle Lowry|
|SG||Brandon Roy||DeMar DeRozan|
|SF||Andrei Kirilenko||Landry Fields|
|PF||Derrick Williams||Andrea Bargnani|
|C||Nikola Pekovic||Jonas Valanciunas|