Wolves at Bucks Scouting Report





Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Wolves vs. Bucks 7 PM - Bradley Center
Where to Wach: FS North
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

The Timberwolves and Bucks wrap up their abbreviated preseason schedule on Wednesday at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, where the two teams will face each other for the second time in four days. On Saturday, Minnesota used sharp shooting from the perimeter and a little energy boost from its new faces to earn a 117-96 win at Target Center in front of an announced crowd of 15,013.

But Wednesday’s matchup could look drastically different. Coach Rick Adelman said after Tuesday’s practice that guards JJ Barea and Ricky Rubio might not participate in Wednesday’s game to rest minor injuries, and with the season beginning on Monday against Oklahoma City this will be the team’s last chance to mix and match the starting lineup before the regular season.

Can the Wolves stay hot from 3-point range?

Minnesota opened up Saturday’s exhibition by shooting 10-of-11 from 3-point range in the first half, and they finished the game 15-of-24 from behind the arc. Forward Kevin Love alone hit four 3-pointers to lead the team, while rookie Derrick Williams had three and Berea and Anthony Tolliver each had two. Minnesota’s proficiency from 3-point land helped them regain and hold onto the lead late in the first half and beyond in the teams’ first meeting, turning a 10-point deficit into a 21-point win.

Love-Beasley-Williams front court combination

One of the Wolves most dynamic front court combinations is that of Love, Williams and Michael Beasley. The trio combined for 56 points in Saturday’s exhibition, and Adelman said having all three on the floor at the same time poses matchup problems for opposing the opposing team’s defense.

The question is, with all Beasley and Love the tallest of the three at 6-foot-10, can the group matchup against bigger lineups on the defensive side of the ball?

“They can score, but they have to do their job defensively,” Adelman said. “I thought they were active (on Saturday). Everybody’s just got to keep their concentration.”

Even with a rotating lineup on Wednesday, Adelman said he would imagine the Beasley-Love-Williams front court trio will get time together on the floor.

Bucks lineup still in question, too

Milwaukee has its point guard and center situations locked down in Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut, respectively, but the rest of the Bucks' starting five could be still in flux. Saturday's starting five—Bogut, Jennings, Mike Dunleavy, Drew Gooden and Carlos Delfino—shot a combined 38.6 percent from the floor, and as a team Milwaukee compiled a 39.3 shooting percentage.

Coach Scott Skiles told Bucks.com he's stressing a sense of urgency in making adjustments during the brief training camp season.

"This year, like every other team, a lot that is going to have to be done through film and talking to guys, because we aren't going to have a ton of hour and a half practices even," Skiles told the website. "That's going to be one of the keys: Can the guys self-correct during games?"

Leuer showing signs of promise for Bucks

Orono graduate Jon Leuer made his NBA debut on Saturday and recorded 18 points and five rebounds in 21:31 minutes of play. The former University of Wisconsin standout shot 6-of-12 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line. Milwaukee's second-round pick in June's NBA Draft was an All-Big Ten and AP All-America Honorable Mention as a senior last year with the Badgers.

The Outlook

This will be both team's final tune-up before the regular season, as the Wolves at home against Oklahoma City and the Bucks on the road against Charlotte on Monday. But both teams will get reacquainted with one another quickly, as their lone regular season matchup will take place on Tuesday in Milwaukee.

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