Wolves @ Pacers Gameday
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Wolves vs. Pacers 7:00 PM - Target Center
Where to Watch: FS North
Where to Listen: 1130 AM
*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 1130 AM.
* Kevin Love (knee) - DAY-TO-DAY
* Anthony Randolph (illness) - DAY-TO-DAY
* Mike Dunleavy (broken left thumb) - OUT
* Jeff Foster (back) - OUT
On January 30, Frank Vogel replaced Jim O'Brien and immediately found success with seven victories in eight games as the new head coach. Over the last 10 games, Indiana is just 3-7 while dropping its last four games that included three road contests. Starting shooting guard Mike Dunleavy was forced to undergo surgery to repair a fractured left thumb a couple of weeks ago and he is expected to miss six to eight weeks. The Pacers are deep at the wing position but lose a threat from the perimeter as Dunleavy was shooting a high percentage from the 3-point line. Moving forward, Indiana has 19 games remaining on the schedule and is clinging to a 27-36 overall record, just one game ahead of Charlotte for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. This difficult stretch of eight road contests in 17 days will ultimately determine the Pacers postseason fate, starting tonight in the final matchup against the Wolves this season.
Last Time Out
Indiana's starters only managed to score a combined 43 points in a 110-100 loss to Philadelphia last night.
The Wolves fought to the bitter end but the Mavericks outlasted the home team in a 108-105 defeat for Minnesota.
The Numbers Game
The stage is set for Kevin Love to take the throne as the double-double king in the modern era. If the Wolves power forward records a double-double tonight, it will be his 52nd in a row, passing Moses Malone' mark set in the 1978-79 season.
Match-up to Watch
Michael Beasley vs. Danny Granger
Granger is the most dangerous offensive weapon on the Pacers roster despite their attempt to feed 7-2 center Roy Hibbert on a more consistent basis. This year, Indiana's small forward has increased his scoring average to 20.7 points per game and posts 22.8 in its 27 victories. In the first matchup, Granger was efficient by hitting 7-of-12 field goal attempts with 19 points, six boards, and three steals in 30 minutes of action. Beasley missed the contest due to a left ankle injury, leaving rookie Wes Johnson and former Wolves guard / forward Corey Brewer to defend Granger. Defensively, Beasley must force Granger deep out to the arc where he has struggled of late, only connecting on four of his last 13 attempts. Granger excels in the midrange game and relies on his athleticism to rise over defenders for jumpers around 17-feet. On the opposite, Beasley will work to slowdown Granger while igniting his own offensive game. The Wolves small forward attacked the rim at a higher rate on Monday night against Dallas, trying to find some easy buckets while he is only shooting 39.5 percent from the floor in his last 10 games.
What to Look For
In the first matchup in Indiana, reserve guard Dahntay Jones played a major role in the Pacers 116-105 win. Jones dropped 19 points, leading a fourth quarter charge that featured a lopsided 33-15 advantage for Indiana. Beasley, Darko Milicic, Luke Ridnour, and Martell Webster all missed the February 11 road game. Tonight's injury concern surrounds the Wolves top scorer, rebounder, and historic third-year power forward. Love missed practice yesterday with a left knee contusion but a precautionary MRI came back clean. He remains a game-time decision for the tonight's game as he searches for 52 straight double-doubles against the third best rebounding team in the league.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jonah on Twitter.