Shootaround Access: Wolves vs. Kings | Jan. 15, 2014
Scouting Report: Wolves (18-19) vs. Kings (13-23) | Jan. 15, 2014
Timberwolves vs. Kings | 7:00 PM — Target Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
The talk over the last week around the Minnesota Timberwolves has been the excellent play of center Nikola Pekovic.
And for good reason.
Pekovic is averaging 22.3 points and 10.1 rebounds in his last 10 games, making a run for an All-Star bid in the process.
That talk continued at Wednesday morning’s shootaround at the Target Center.
“Yeah, I mean he’s a monster,” said fellow post player Kevin Love. “He’s very tough to handle in this league. We were just talking about it today, he’s you know, the strongest player in the league, in my opinion it’s not even close. He just gets in there and shoots a very high percentage and rebounds at a high level.”
The bruising center has had plenty of success lately and is showing why Flip Saunders and the Wolves wanted to lock him up last offseason. He’ll have a battle with another center tonight and it will put him to the test.
The Kings are led by center DeMarcus Cousins, who’s gotten better each year in his career. There have been a few questions on the maturity level of Cousins throughout the years, but a players in the league think the former Kentucky center has grown up a bit and that reflects in his game.
“He’s gotten so much better, man. I think it’s a maturity thing,” said Wolves wing Corey Brewer. “Like everyone talks about his game. His game’s been there since he’s got in the league. His maturity, what he has to do to be an All-Star in this league and I feel like he’s playing at an All-Star level caliber right now.”
In previous years, Pekovic and Cousins would be two of the top centers on the All-Star ballot. Unfortunately for these two, the ballot doesn’t have “centers” as an option anymore. Instead it lists frontcourt and backcourt players. With the abundance of talent at the forward spot, this makes it tough for these guys to get in.
“Yeah, they, I think in some cases they suffer from that. I think DeMarcus has a very good shot of making it. Pek’s played well as of late,” Love said. “So those are two of those premiere centers in the league.”
Pekovic is a very unselfish player and that was on display at shootaround. When asked on his All-Star chances along with Love, Pekovic was quick to dismiss his game and praise Love.
“It's their choice. We know how good a player is he (Love), and what he doing for us. But I just hope that people will vote for him still, especially here from Minnesota and make the final push,” Pekovic said. “…I don't know (if I’ll make it). I know he deserve it. I'm not really sure about me. I think I'm still not playing at that high level.”
Minnesota fans would likely disagree on that last part.
A Tough Task Defensively
The Kings bring forward two wing players that could be categorized as “tweeners.” Those two players are Rudy Gay and former Minnesota forward Derrick Williams. In all likelihood it will be Brewer that will get the main assignment when it comes to guarding Gay.
Gay and Williams do their best to both face up and post up, something that Brewer hasn’t seen a whole lot of this season.
“I wouldn’t say it’s tougher than any other game, it’s just, it’s going to be more physical I guess you could say,” Brewer said. “Guys are going to post up more than being on the perimeter.”
It will be the first trip from Williams to play his former team. Look for Mark Remme’s GameDay Live Blog later on this afternoon for exclusive content about his return to the Target Center.
@Kyle_Ratke Law and Order: PEK.V.U— Jennifer Kerhin (@jenkerhin) January 15, 2014
@Kyle_Ratke A show about his fishing hobby, Nikola Pekofish— Rob (@TheSportsminn) January 15, 2014
"There Will Be Consequences For Not Watching" RT @Kyle_Ratke: If Pek were to have a reality TV show, what the name of the show be?— Patrick Fenelon (@Patrick_Fenelon) January 15, 2014