Scouting Report: Wolves vs. Grizzlies

Alex Conover
Web Editorial Associate

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Minnesota Timberwolves (26-45) vs Memphis Grizzlies (48-24) — 7:00 PM Target Center
Where to Watch: My29
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

View Timberwolves Game Notes

Got questions during tonight’s game? Send them to Wolves Radio via Twitter using the hash tag #WolvesRadio!

 


The Wolves continue their jam-packed week with their third straight home game tonight, this time coming off an emotional 101-93 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. They’ll host the Memphis Grizzlies tonight at Target Center. Tipoff is set for 7:00 PM on My29 and 830 WCCO-AM.

Memphis Breakdown

Memphis has already clinched a playoff spot and is currently slated as the fifth seed in the West. They broke their two-game skid with a win against Houston last night, as Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph each scored 21 points. Those two are Memphis’ top two scorers, averaging 14.3 and 15.5 PPG, respectively.

For a relatively pedestrian offense, however, they have their moments. The Grizzlies shot 51 percent from the field last night, giving a jumpstart to an attack that is ranked just 26th in the league. In fact, the Grizzlies have been hot lately, scoring over 100 points in each of their last four contests. Their defense is their forte, as they rank second in points allowed with their opponents averaging only 90 PPG.

Last Time Out: March 18, 2013

The Grizzlies beat the Wolves for the 10th straight time when they defended FedEx Forum and came away with a 92-77 win on March 18.

Alexey Shved had 12 points and J.J. Barea and Mickael Gelabale had 11 each. The Wolves’ bench had 44 points as no starter logged double figures scoring.

MInnesota shot just 34 percent and was outscored 50-28 in the paint. Ricky Rubio left the game in the third quarter after falling awkwardly, and he ended with just two points and two assists.


"He said he could have played, but I wasn't going to put him back in there," Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said of his point guard. "It wasn't worth it."

Memphis was led by guard Mike Conley who totaled 20 points and six assists. Minnesota’s road record sunk to 7-26 on the year with the loss.


"We just played very poorly offensively and never really gave ourselves a chance to win," Adelman said. "We shot low 30 percent and didn't move the ball very well. I don't know if it's as much to do with them as it is to do with ourselves.

"I did think we ran out of gas. At the start of the third quarter, it was like we had nothing left."

Key Matchup: Mike Conley and Ricky Rubio

Conley is averaging his best scoring output (14.2 PPG) and steal rate (2.3 SPG) of his career, showing parallels to a certain Spanish point guard for Minnesota. After Rubio adjusted during his first couple games back from injury, he has since improved his steal average to 2.3 SPG as well. Conley is a couple years older and slightly shorter, but the two are similar in that they both rank at the top of the league’s steal chart.

“We were trying to be aggressive and didn’t let them get a chance to face the basket,” Rubio said last night, a win against Oklahoma City where he totaled four steals. “We were playing aggressive—defensively aggressive—and were trying to get some steals over there.”

Injury report presented by TSR Injury Law

The Wolves announced Kevin Love did not have his broken right hand re-evaluated this week and will do so next week. That means if he is cleared for full contact practice, there will be about two weeks left in the season. Coach Rick Adelman said he’d like to have Love on the floor for at least a bit down the stretch to see how the team functions together, but it will be a decision made by Love, the coaches, the front office and the medical staff. Adelman also said before last night’s game he doesn’t expect Brandon Roy back this season. The Grizzlies enter the game with no one listed on their injury report.

 

Tonight's Probable Starters
Position Timberwolves Grizzlies
PG Ricky Rubio Mike Conley
SG Luke Ridnour Tony Allen
SF Andrei Kirilenko Tayshaun Prince
PF Derrick Williams Zach Randolph
C Nikola Pekovic Marc Gasol

 


For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com.