Scouting Report: Wolves vs. Magic
Web Editorial Associate
Wolves (2-1) vs. Magic (2-1) — 7 P.M.
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
Got questions during tonight’s game? Send them to Wolves Radio via Twitter using the hash tag #WolvesRadio!
The Minnesota Timberwolves will have a chance to earn their third win of the year when they host the Orlando Magic at Target Center on Wednesday, November 6, 2012.
Orlando enjoyed a fast start to the season before Chicago defeated them on Tuesday night. The Bulls turned a five-point deficit into an eight-point lead early in the fourth quarter, led by Luol Deng [23 points] and Joakim Noah . Playing without key players Hedo Turkoglu, Al Harrington and Jameer Nelson, the Magic still had five players in double-digit scoring totals, most notably Arron Afflalo with 28.
Minnesota comes off of a historic win against the Brooklyn Nets; the 22-point comeback for the Wolves was their biggest one since 1998. Nikola Pekovic led the team’s scoring with 21 points—including 17 in the first half—and Andrei Kirilenko filled out his stat sheet with 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four blocks. Bench players Chase Budinger [16 points], Dante Cunningham  and Alexey Shved  also contributed double-digit point totals.
Last Time Out: February 13, 2012
All five of Orlando’s starters reached double-digits scoring in the last time these two teams met, a 102-89 victory for the Magic on February 13, 2012.
The Timberwolves managed to restrict star center Dwight Howard to only 11 points and seven rebounds, but the rest of the Magic lineup responded positively—especially Jason Richardson, who led his team with 17 points. J.J. Redick added another 14 off the bench for an Orlando team that only committed nine turnovers to Minnesota’s 18.
Kevin Love led the charge for Minnesota, tallying 19 points and 15 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic had a fantastic night of his own, recording 16 points and 13 rebounds—giving both of the team’s starting post players double-doubles. So what was the problem? The Timberwolves struggled from the perimeter—shooting only 28 percent on 21 attempts from outside—and turned the ball over enough to hand the lead to Orlando for good.
3-Point Shootout: Chase Budinger versus J.J. Redick
Since a disappointing season opener, Timberwolves forward Chase Budinger has shot 4-of-8 from the perimeter, including a dagger in the closing minutes of the comeback against Brooklyn. Known for his sharpshooting—especially from the corner—Budinger will look to exploit a lineup that may be without several key components.
J.J. Redick shot an incredible 75 percent [6-8 3FG] from long distance during Orlando's first two games—showing that he still has the ability to seriously impact a game from beyond the arc. He only shot 2-6 from the 3-point line in Tuesday's loss to Chicago, but he dished out a team-high seven assists. Both Budinger and Redick are wings that can come off the bench for their respective squads and contribute in a variety of ways, but their top skill is shooting the lights out. We'll see who catches fire first.
Still missing Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, the Wolves did have the rest of their roster available in Brooklyn and should have that again tonight. The Wolves’ point guards have had the worst run ins with injuries this season as Luke Ridnour (back) and JJ Barea (concussion-like symptoms) have missed time. Barea left Sunday’s game against the Raptors but was cleared to play prior to Monday’s win against the Nets.
The Magic are battling similar injury woes, as forward Hedo Turkoglu has a broken left hand, point guard Jameer Nelson missed Tuesday’s game with a hamstring injury and forward Al Harrington is recovering from offseason right knee surgery.
|Tonight's Probable Starters|
|PG||Luke Ridnour||E'Twuan Moore|
|SG||Brandon Roy||Arron Afflalo|
|SF||Andrei Kirilenko||DeQuan Jones|
|PF||Derrick Williams||Glen Davis|
|C||Nikola Pekovic||Nikola Vucevic|