Wolves vs. Blazers Gameday

Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Wolves vs. Blazers 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.

Notable Injuries:
* Martell Webster (back spasms) - DAY-TO-DAY
* Michael Beasley (left ankle sprain) - DAY-TO-DAY
* Darko Milicic (hip flexor strain) - DAY-TO-DAY

* C Marcus Camby (knee) - DAY-TO-DAY
* G Brandon Roy (knee )- DAY-TO-DAY
* C Greg Oden (knee surgery) - DAY-TO-DAY
* G Elliot Williams (knee surgery) - OUT

Scouting Report:

Big Picture
The 30-24 Blazers are searching for consistency in the win column and with four consecutive victories, their momentum looks to be heading in the right direction. Admirably, Portland has maintained above .500 basketball with a host of injuries to key members on the squad. The Blazers currently hold the final spot in the Western Conference playoff standings, just one game ahead of the surging Grizzlies. The team would love to welcome back star shooting guard Brandon Roy, who is eyeing a potential return this Wednesday against the Hornets. Center Marcus Camby is also looking for court time following a knee surgery on Jan. 20. Baring any trades over the next 10 days, Portland could be a dangerous team down the stretch and threaten to upset one of the elite Western Conference teams in the playoffs. After tonight’s contest against Minnesota, the Blazers head back to the Rose City for a nice six-game homestand.

Last Time Out
Portland captured a road win last night by defeating the Pistons 105-100 behind LaMarcus Aldridge’s 36 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

The Wolves suffered through an offensive drought in the second and fourth quarters while Philadelphia cruised to a 107-87 victory at the Target Center on Saturday night.

The Numbers Game
Over the last five games, Corey Brewer is averaging 11 points per game off 45.6 percent shooting from the floor.

Match-up to Watch
Kevin Love vs. LaMarcus Aldridge
Since Aldridge received the All-Star snub, the Blazers big man is on an impressive tear that rivals any power forward’s production in the league. Over the last five games, Aldridge is averaging 29.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in the midst of becoming Portland’s No. 1 scoring option. On the opposite side of the floor another premier power forward awaits this final matchup of the season. Kevin Love earned the All-Star nod but the Wolves have yet to defeat the Blazers, leaving Minnesota’s double-double machine with plenty of motivation entering the game tonight. Aldridge is a tough defensive assignment due to his ability to run the floor, finish high above the rim, and hit midrage jumpers in the half court offense. In three wins against Minnesota, Aldridge is posting 33.7 points while shooting an incredible 62.1 percent from the field.

What to Look For
Whether it's a career night for Wesley Matthews or Aldridge dominating the paint, the Wolves have struggled to find the right defensive combination to slow down the Portland offense. Darko Milicic, Martell Webster, and Michael Beasley practiced on Sunday and the Minnesota coaching staff hopes to have four of its top five scorers back in the lineup to counteract a streaking Blazers squad. Head coach Kurt Rambis and company would also like to see a return to the ball movement and offensive rhythm seen in the back-to-back road wins early last week. On Saturday night, the Wolves only managed 15 assists to go along with five fast break points in a 107-87 home loss to Philadelphia. In order to top Portland for the first time this season, Minnesota must achieve success in the open floor when the Blazers attempt to control the pace. The Wolves should regain their shooting touch after a woeful Saturday night at the Target Center and hunt for high percentage scoring opportunities against a top 10 defensive team in terms of points allowed per game.
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