Wolves vs. Mavericks Gameday
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Wolves vs. Mavericks 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.
* Martell Webster (back) - DAY-TO-DAY
* Tyson Chandler (sprained right ankle) - DAY-TO-DAY
* F Caron Butler (right knee) - OUT
* G Dominique Jones (right foot) - OUT
As the playoff standings begin to take shape, the Mavericks find a spot between the top team in the league and the perceived Western Conference favorite. Over its last 10 games, Dallas is 8-2, one game ahead of the Lakers while chasing San Antonio for the No. 1 position. With Caron Butler out for the season, the Mavericks searched for role players to assist in their championship aspirations. Sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic joined the squad on January 25 and Dallas recently added former Wolves defensive specialist Corey Brewer. Starting tonight, the Mavericks play two road contests before returning home for pivotal games against the Knicks and Lakers. Off the court, Dallas owner Mark Cuban is drawing some headlines for his conversations with Charlie Sheen to develop a show on Cuban's cable network HDNet. Sheen has been all over the talk show circuit, voicing his displeasure for being fired from the sitcom "Two and a Half Men."
Last Time Out
Oddly enough, the Grizzlies own a 3-1 series advantage over Dallas after Zach Randolph hit a jumper with 0.3 seconds on the game clock and secured a 104-103 victory for Memphis last night.
The Wolves suffered a 103-96 defeat in Washington on Saturday night to conclude a three-game road trip. Minnesota captured one of three contests away from the Target Center this past week by topping Detroit on Wednesday.
The Numbers Game
Kevin Love is inching closer to becoming the double-double king in the modern era. If the Wolves power forward records a double-double tonight, it will be his 51st in a row, trying Moses Malone mark set in the 1978-79 season.
Match-up to Watch
Kevin Love vs. Dirk Nowitzki
Over the last 10 years, Dirk Nowitzki has proven to be one of the most consistent and dynamic stars the league has to offer. At 7-feet, the 32-year old is averaging 22.9 points per game while leading the Mavericks to another banner season. Love will face another difficult defensive challenge tonight as Nowitzki owns a major size advantage and All-Star experience. Nowitzki is a tremendous perimeter shooter with midrange game that draws opposing big men outside of the paint. He is also an underrated off the dribble and post player -- often searching for a variety of spots on the floor to deconstruct the defense. Love must use a physical approach to make Nowitzki uncomfortable and constantly place pressure on him throughout the game tonight. Obviously, Love will have the advantage on the glass, averaging nine more boards per game and looking for his fourth straight 20/20 outing.
What to Look For
On December 1 in Dallas, the Mavericks cruised to a 100-86 victory over the Wolves behind 44 bench points. First-year Dallas center Tyson Chandler ripped down 14 of his game-high 18 rebounds in the third quarter and Shawn Marion chipped in 16 points off the pine. Tonight, Chandler may return after missing two consecutive games due to a sprained ankle. Head coach Rick Carlisle believes Chandler is making progress but could miss the contest for one more night of rest before facing New Orleans on Wednesday. There is a severe effect with Chandler's absence, considering Memphis posted a whopping 66 points in the paint last night against the thin Dallas frontline.
Just 13 days ago, Brewer was sent to New York in a deal that brought Anthony Randolph to Minneapolis. The shooting guard was waived by the Knicks and inked a multi-year contract with Dallas on March 4. In his second game with the team, Brewer scored six points in 10 minutes against the Grizzlies. Brewer spent his first three seasons in the league in a Wolves uniform, which should create an odd visual for Target Center fans watching the high-flyer sporting the Mavericks colors tonight.
The Wolves hope Martell Webster, Darko Milicic, and Wes Johnson return to the lineup. All three players participated in practice on Sunday and would add much needed depth against Dallas' talented roster.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jonah on Twitter.