Wolves vs. Suns Gameday





Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Wolves vs. Suns 7:00 PM - Target Center
Where to Watch: NBA League Pass
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:
Wolves:
* Kevin Love (groin) - DAY-TO-DAY
* Darko Milicic (ankle) - DAY-TO-DAY

Suns:
* Mickael Pietrus (quad) - DAY-TO-DAY

Scouting Report:
Big Picture
For the first time since the 2003-04 season, the Suns will endure a year with at least 40 losses. The 2010-11 campaign has been a far cry from the surprising ride to the Western Conference Finals just a season ago. Of course, the wholesale changes have created a lack of cohesion for the current group as Amar'e Stoudemire, Jason Richardson, Leandro Barbosa, and Louis Amundson are all absent from the current Phoenix roster. A 3-7 record in their last 10 games places the Suns outside of the postseason picture behind the red-hot Rockets and Grizzlies. Three of the final five games for Phoenix are against playoff bound teams, including a contest at New Orleans on Friday and a road game in Dallas on Sunday. The Suns conclude the season at home with a matchup against their rival and the Western Conference's No. 1 squad, the San Antonio Spurs.

Last Time Out
Phoenix battled late with a second half run but eventually fell victim to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Derrick Rose scored 19 points and dropped the Suns 97-94 last night in Chicago.

The Wolves also displayed impressive resiliency on Tuesday night by fighting back from a 15-point deficit before Deron Williams drilled a game-winning jumper with 1.7 seconds remaining in the contest. Falling 107-105 in New Jersey extended Minnesota's losing skid to 11 straight games.

The Numbers Game
Without Kevin Love and Darko Milicic for the second consecutive game, Anthony Randolph, Martell Webster, and Anthony Tolliver elevated their play by combining for 50 points and 10 boards off the bench.

Match-up to Watch
Luke Ridnour vs. Steve Nash
After missing three straight games with the flu, Steve Nash returned to the Suns lineup on Tuesday night with 16 assists and only three turnovers. In true Nash-form, the former two-time MVP is posting another solid season (15.2 points and 11.4 assists) despite the revolving door of role players around him. The consummate professional is the lifeblood of the Phoenix franchise at the ripe age of 37 and continues to positively affect the Suns potent offensive attack. In the only meeting against Minnesota this season, Nash dished out 19 dimes to propel his squad to a 128-122 victory in Phoenix. Luke Ridnour must challenge Nash at the point guard position, especially after Deron Williams recorded a career-best 21 assists in last night's game in New Jersey.

What to Look For
Fans must tip their hat to the shorthanded Wolves after they fell behind by 15 points against the Nets. Michael Beasley shook off a rusty first half and scored all 20 of his points in the second half to go along with 11 boards and seven assists. Beasley, Randolph, Tolliver, and Webster will need to carry the offensive load tonight. Defensively, Minnesota allowed New Jersey to score 61 first half points, which is alarming, considering the Nets only average 93.9 points per game this season. Tonight, the Wolves face a prolific and quick strike offense as the Suns rank No. 4 in points per game and 4th overall in assists. Expect another high-scoring affair as both teams combined for 250 points on December 15.
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