Scouting Report: Wolves vs. Raptors

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Wolves (3-5) at Raptors (3-5) - 6 PM Air Canada Centre
Where to Watch: FS 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 started their stretch of three games in three days in convincing fashion on Sunday, topping winless Washington by 21 points on the road. But there’s no rest for this squad, as the Wolves look to refocus and prepare for tonight’s matchup against the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

“It’s very important, especially getting a win in the first let,” forward Kevin Love said after the win. “We are going to enjoy this one tonight but (Monday) we have to focus in and try to get a win in Toronto. Then we go home for that beast on Tuesday with Chicago.”

The Raptors are on a two-game losing streak and are coming off their largest margin of defeat this season—97-62 loss on the road to Philadelphia. But of Minnesota’s opponents so far this year, the Raptors are allowing the fewest points against at 92.9 a contest.

Key matchup: Battle in the paint

Love keeps on racking up numbers the NBA has not seen in 35 years. His stretch of at least 20 points/12 rebounds to start the year hit eight games on Sunday, and he is now two games shy of tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s stretch of 10 contests in 1975. Love scored 20 and added 16 boards on Sunday while also adding three assists and three steals.

Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani is having a solid year of his own. Bargnani, who can play both the center and power forward positions, is averaging 22.8 points per contest while racking up 6.8 boards per night. He’s shooting 52.3 percent from the floor this season. He has been the leading overall scorer in four of Toronto’s eight games this year.

Wolves Minute Hosted By John Focke

Lineup changes

The Wolves had a new-look starting lineup on Sunday. With small forward Michael Beasley out with a right mid foot sprain, coach Rick Adelman moved Wes Johnson from shooting guard to small forward and inserted Wayne Ellington in at shooting guard. Ellington shined in his first start of the year, shooting 5-of-8 and scoring 13 points and racking up three steals on the day.

Rookie magic

Rookie guard Ricky Rubio has played 30 minutes or more in two of his past three games, and on Sunday it again paid dividends for the Wolves. Rubio picked up his third double-double of the season against the Wizards, posting 13 points and 14 assists in the contest. It was the third time in his first eight games that Rubio posted 10 or more assists in a game. He also grabbed six rebounds and blocked a shot.

Fellow rookie Derrick Williams had his best offensive day as a pro on Sunday in Toronto, scoring a career-high 14 points and hitting 4-of-7 3-point shots in the win. He also grabbed seven rebounds on the day. It’s the second straight game he’s scored 10 or more points.

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.
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