Scouting Report: Wolves vs. Celtics | Oct. 20, 2013
Scouting Report: Wolves (2-2) vs. Celtics (1-5) | Oct. 20, 2013
Timberwolves vs. Celtics | 5 PM — Bell Centre, Montreal
Where to Watch: NBATV
Where to Listen: No radio
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A lot has changed for these two squads since the end of the 2012-13 season.
The Celtics went to rebuilding mode during the offseason, shipping off Kevin Garnett (remember him?), Jason Terry and Paul Pierce while accumulating draft picks and cap flexibility from the Brooklyn Nets.
The Wolves have two new starters in their lineup, not including a healthy Kevin Love. Coach Rick Adelman wants to see his starting five play together and gel a bit more before the season opener.
Look for Minnesota to give big minutes to those fighting for a spot in the rotation. Adelman noted at practice this week that players on the brink of making the roster might have to prove themselves more so in practice than in actually games.
For both teams the time leading to the start of the season is extremely important. The Wolves are trying to finalize their roster and find a steady rotation. The Celtics are preparing for life without point guard Rajon Rondo for at least a little while. Rondo tore his ACL last season and is out indefinitely.
The game will be played at the Bell Centre in Montreal at 5 p.m. CST. It will be aired on NBA TV.
The two squads last faced off on April 1 of the 2012-13 season at the Target Center. The Wolves came away with 110-100 win snapping an 11-game losing streak against the Celtics.
Center Nikola Pekovic led the way for Minnesota, finishing with a game-high 29 points, while shooting 9-of-15 from the field and sinking all 11 of his free-throw attempts. Fellow post Dante Cunningham had a nice night off the bench, scoring 19 points while collecting two steals. Despite shooting 2-of-11 from the field, Ricky Rubio was just one point shy of a double-double, as he had 10 assists.
Normally known for his defense, Avery Bradley was Boston’s leading scorer, finishing with 19 points. The Wolves were able to force 17 Boston turnovers compared to committing just eight.
The Wolves were able to come away with the win despite being outrebounded 30-27 and shooting 48.2 percent compared to Boston’s mark of 51.9 percent.
Neither Pierce (personal) nor Garnett (ankle) played for the Celtics. Love (hand) was out for Minnesota.
This Week’s Results
The Celtics had back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, losing both games. On Tuesday at the Barclay’s Center, the Celtics fell 82-80 to the Brooklyn Nets. Courtney Lee led Boston with 14 points. New addition and former Golden Gopher Kris Humphries had an impressive night off the bench, scoring 12 points while collecting eight rebounds. The next night, Boston lost another close battle, dropping a 99-97 game to the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Center. This time it was MarShon Brooks, also new to Boston, who led the Celtics, scoring 17 points off the bench. Rookie Kelly Olynyk had a nice game as well, scoring 13 points while shooting 6-of-7 from the field. He also collected 13 rebounds. Olynyk impressed in Summer League and it looks like that has carried over.
The Wolves last played on Oct. 12 against the Toronto Raptors and fell 91-88 despite Love’s 28 point, 11 rebound performance. Pekovic added 13, while Corey Brewer scored 12, but other than that, no player scored more than nine points for Minnesota. The Wolves were without Kevin Martin, who was out because of a sore Achilles. The Wolves could have used the hot-handed shooting guard. Minnesota shot just 36.2 percent from the field. After the game, Adelman was noticeably agitated and noted that his team needs to start playing with a sense of urgency. Expect the starters to be more vocal in Sunday’s game.
What To Watch: Love vs. Brandon Bass
While Bass isn’t regarded as one of the game’s best power forwards by any means, he did play in 81 games last season compared to Love’s 18. Love came into camp noticeably trimmer, something he credits to CrossFit training and switching up his diet. He has the height advantage on Bass, by about two inches, but Bass has a little more girth to him. Love is one of the few power forwards in the game that can stretch the floor going back to the 3-point line, but don’t sleep on Bass. Bass shot 46 percent from 16-23 feet last season, compared to just 34.5 percent from 3-9 feet. These two aren’t going to beat each other up inside, the Wolves will leave that to Pekovic, but look for these two to get away from the basket and help open up the offense for their respective teams.
Injury Report Presented By TSR Injury Law
The Wolves will be without swingman Chase Budinger, who is out while recovering from preseason left knee surgery. It looks like Martin will return back to the lineup after missing two games with a sore Achilles. Rondo (knee) will be out for Boston, as will Keith Bogans (thumb). Bogans injured his thumb in the team’s preseason game against the 76ers on Oct. 11. He’s out indefinitely.
Timberwolves Celtics PG Ricky Rubio Avery Bradley SG Kevin Martin Jordan Crawford SF Corey Brewer Jeff Green PF Kevin Love Brandon Bass C Nikola Pekovic Jared Sullinger
|PG||Ricky Rubio||Avery Bradley|
|SG||Kevin Martin||Jordan Crawford|
|SF||Corey Brewer||Jeff Green|
|PF||Kevin Love||Brandon Bass|
|C||Nikola Pekovic||Jared Sullinger|