Wolves vs. Hornets Gameday
Wolves vs. Hornets 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.
* Jonny Flynn (groin) - DAY-TO-DAY
* Martell Webster (back) - DAY-TO-DAY
* C Emeka Okafor (strained oblique) - DAY-TO-DAY
In the midst of all the trade movement on Wednesday, the Hornets quietly added a quality forward to bolster its frontcourt. New Orleans shipped shooting guard Marcus Thornton and cash considerations to Sacramento in exchange for Carl Landry. From all accounts, the Hornets felt they needed another frontline contributor to counter lengthy opposing Western Conference playoff contenders. Landry brings 11.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game to back up David West and Emeka Okafor. At 34-25, New Orleans is three wins shy of matching its win total from a year ago while holding the fifth spot in the latest standings, just a half game behind Oklahoma City. Despite the impressive turnaround under new head coach Monty Williams, the Hornets have won only won three of their last 10 games.
Last Time Out
On Wednesday night, New Orleans snapped a three-game slide by topping the Clippers 98-87. The Hornets shot 51.3 percent from the floor in their first contest after the All-Star break.
Minnesota could not find the offensive rhythm in a 104-95 loss to Memphis two nights ago. The second unit managed to score 39 points but the Wolves suffered their sixth straight defeat.
The Numbers Game
If Kevin Love posts a double-double tonight, he will eclipse Moses Malone’s streak of 44 consecutive games with a double-double. Malone set the mark during the 1982-83 season and also owns top spot with 50 in 1978-79.
Match-up to Watch
Kevin Love vs. David West
Love averages 21.5 points and 14 rebounds per game against the Hornets in two meetings this season. Across the floor is a talented power forward as West features a solid inside-out game. Contrary to West’s strong physique, he prefers to shoot jumpers from 17-18 feet after Paul slices through the lane and provides open opportunities on the perimeter. The glaring number that stands out in this specific matchup is the disparity in rebounding between West and Love. The Hornets big man only grabs five boards per game when facing the Wolves compared to Love's 14. In Wednesday’s defeat, Love received just 30 minutes of action and finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. On the other side, West is fresh off a 22-point and 8-rebound performance in a win over the Clippers.
What to Look For
At Thursday’s practice, head coach Kurt Rambis said Martell Webster is starting to feel better but may not be ready for the contest against New Orleans. Webster is still recovering from a hard fall on his back along with ongoing back spasms. The team is also adjusting to the loss of Corey Brewer in the lineup and inside the locker room. Wayne Ellington admitted that Brewer was an influential part of his career and brought levity during difficult times this season. However, Ellington could be the player that benefits the most from Brewer’s departure. The second-year shooting guard should receive significant minutes off the bench and proved he can produce with a team-high 16 points off 5-for-11 shooting in 23 minutes on Wednesday.
Rambis also told reporters on Thursday that newly acquired forward / center Anthony Randolph may step on the Target Center floor for the first time tonight. After a game on Wednesday and a practice session the following day, Randolph is starting the learning process and he hopes to earn some valuable court time to prove his worth heading into next season.
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