Scouting Report: Wolves vs. Raptors | Oct. 12, 2013
Scouting Report: Wolves (2-1) vs. Raptors (2-1) | Oct. 12, 2013
Timberwolves vs. Raptors | 7 PM
Where to Watch: No TV
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
The Wolves got their first look at the Toronto Raptors three days ago and walked away with a 101-89 win. They did it inside an arena that has been particularly harsh to them—they’ve lost nine straight regular season meetings at the Air Canada Centre dating back to 2004.
Minnesota will have a far friendlier setting for tonight’s matchup. The Wolves will host the Raptors inside Target Center at 7 p.m. on 830 WCCO-AM. Tonight’s game will not be televised. After tonight, the Timberwolves will have played four games in six nights. They’re coming off their lone off day since Sept. 30 as they did not practice on Friday, but there’s no question a little reprieve will be welcomed after tonight’s game. Minnesota will have eight days off before heading to Montreal to play the Boston Celtics in one of the NBA’s Canada Series games on Oct. 20.
The Wolves got a 20-point effort from Kevin Love on Wednesday night, which led the way to Minnesota’s victory at Air Canada Centre. Nikola Pekovic and J.J. Barea each had 12 points, and Alexey Shved added 10. The Wolves gave up 37 points in the second quarter but responded with a strong defensive effort after halftime. Toronto scored just 16 points in the third and 14 points in the fourth as the Wolves pulled away in the second half. Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan scored 17 points to pace the Raptors, while Rudy Gay had 11 points and Jonas Valanciunas and Tyler Hansbrough each had nine.
This Week’s Results
The Raptors opened up the week with a 97-89 win over the Celtics at TD Garden in Boston before falling to the Wolves 101-89 on Wednesday night. Toronto played last night at the Air Canada Centre and beat the New York Knicks 100-91. DeRozan scored 20 points, while Gay added 17 and Kyle Lowry added 10. For the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points while Metta World Peace and Tim Hardaway, Jr. had 13 each.
The Wolves are also 2-1 this week. They opened up with a 108-106 overtime loss to CSKA Moscow at Target Center on Monday but bounced back with that win over Toronto followed by a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in Sioux Falls on Thursday night. Minnesota beat Milwaukee 98-89 thanks to a major night from their bench. Othyus Jeffers scored 13 points, Shabazz Muhammad added 12 and Robbie Hummel and A.J. Price each had 10 as Minnesota’s reserves scored 65 of the team’s 98 points on the night. The Wolves shot 6-of-6 from 3-point range in the third quarter of that contest at the new Sanford Pentagon facility.
What To Watch: Brewer vs. Gay
The Wolves like what they’re seeing out of new small forward Corey Brewer so far this preseason. He’s provided the defensive energy they hoped for when they signed him this offseason, and he’s also fitting in well both as a player who can score out in transition and filling some of the cutting needs this team has in the half court set. But he’s also adding some corner 3s—he had two of them against Milwaukee on Thursday—and that’s a nice bonus for this club. If he can hit enough corner 3s this year to keep the defense honest, it will open up a lot of extra space inside.
Rudy Gay came to Toronto midway through last season, and he continues to be an offensive spark plug for this franchise. He and DeMar DeRozan are dynamic scorers on the wing, and he’s a guy the Wolves certainly need to account for each time Toronto brings the ball down court. Having Brewer on Gay should be an intriguing matchup on the defensive end for Minnesota. Of course, in preseason play it is often tough to gauge how many minutes these guys will play on any given night, but when Gay’s got the ball and Brewer is guarding him, it’s a matchup worth your attention.
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. The Wolves also could be without shooting guard Kevin Martin, who was held out for precautionary reasons on Thursday due to a sore Achilles. He is listed as questionable tonight. The Raptors are at full strength heading into tonight’s contest.
|PG||Ricky Rubio||Kyle Lowry|
|SG||Alexey Shved||DeMar DeRozan|
|SF||Corey Brewer||Rudy Gay|
|PF||Kevin Love||Amir Johnson|
|C||Nikola Pekovic||Jonas Valanciunas|