Scouting Report: Wolves vs. Pistons



Scouting Report: Wolves vs. Pistons


Kelsey Kroll
Wolves Editorial/Social Media Associate

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Wolves (5-8) vs. Pistons (3-11) - 7 PM Target Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North
Where to Listen: 830 AM WCCO

*Get your questions on the radio airwaves during halftime! Just tweet questions to @WolvesRadio and listen to the halftime show hosted by John Focke on WCCO 830 AM.

The Minnesota Timberwolves battled their way back Monday night, topping the Sacramento Kings 99-86 at Target Center, and the Wolves will look for win No. 6 as they host the Detroit Pistons tonight at home. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

Although the Wolves have been successful in their defensive efforts—their 93.1 points against per game is fourth in the Western Conference—coach Rick Adelman knows the team has room for improvement.

“We still have breakdowns in the game,” Adelman said. “I’ve been playing a lot of different combinations in the game and that causes sometimes breakdowns too. We have to back up the win (on Monday). We can’t just relax. When we play (against Detroit) we have to come out and play the same way.”

Detroit’s early season struggles

Detroit enters Wednesday’s contest coming off a 97-80 loss to the Houston Rockets. Road games have not come easy for the Pistons, winning just one this season. Detroit’s lone victory away from the Palace of Auburn Hills came Friday in a 98-81 win over Charlotte.

The Pistons’ woes have been primarily offensive, as the team is scoring a league-worst 85.0 points per game. They are also the league’s worst rebounding team at 37.5 boards per night, which could pose problems when matched up against the Wolves’ Kevin Love. Love is second individually in the NBA in rebounding with 14.3 per contest, and he has double-doubles in each of his 13 games this season.

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Love scored 33 points and added 11 rebounds on Monday against Sacramento, giving him three consecutive games of 30 points and 10 boards. Should he do it again tonight, he would set a new team record for consecutive 30/10 games. Aside from Love, Kevin Garnett had two separate such three-game streaks, in 1999 and 2004, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Guard Luke Ridnour is shooting a team-high 52.4 percent from the field this season, and he’s coming off a 25-point, 9-assist game against the Kings on Monday. Ridnour had a 71.4 field-goal percentage on Monday—the fourth time this year he’s shot 70 percent or better in a game. Guard Wayne Ellington also continues to score, having shot 12-of-19 for 28 points in his past two games.

Detroit center Greg Monroe continues to have an impressive year, averaging 17.2 points per game and is one of only five players in the league this season averaging 14.0 plus points and 3.5 plus offensive rebounds. Monroe scored a career-high 32 points and tallied a season-high 16 rebounds at Milwaukee on Jan. 12, becoming the first Pistons starting center to score 30-plus points since Rasheed Wallace had 36 at Chicago (11/8/07) and the first Pistons center to record 30-plus points and 10-plus rebounds since Cliff Robinson recorded 30 points and 10 rebounds at Orlando (11/26/01).

Guard Ben Gordon also is a top scorer for the Pistons, averaging 14.1 points per game.

Lineup changes and injury report

The Wolves plan to keep rookie Ricky Rubio in the starting lineup for his fourth straight game. Guard JJ Barea, center Brad Miller and forward Martell Webster each had full participation during Tuesday’s practice. However, it is unclear when they will be back in the lineup. Barea will be a game time decision. Forward Michael Beasley’s return also is unclear after suffering a foot injury against Cleveland.

You can become a part of the Wolves Radio Network by Howling at the Wolves during halftime! Just tweet questions to @WolvesRadio or @JWFocke and Studio Host John Focke and Coach Steve Brown will answer them on 830 WCCO and the Wolves Radio Network.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.