Shootaround Access: Wolves vs. Pistons | March 7, 2014
Timberwolves vs. Pistons | 7:00 PM — Target Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North Plus
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
When it comes to the offensive rebounding game, the Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves rank one and two, respectively, in the NBA.
There’s no secret to their success. The Pistons are armed with young post players with Andre Drummond (5.4 offensive boards per game) and Greg Monroe (3.0), while the Wolves have their “Bruise Brothers” in Nikola Pekovic (4.1) and Kevin Love (3.1).
“It’s going to be very important (tonight). They’re two of the best offensive rebounding big men in the league, so we definitely have to make sure we keep them off the boards on their offensive end,” Monroe said after Friday’s shootaround at the Target Center. “We can’t let them get second shots and easy buckets. Any time you’re playing them you have to control the rebounding game if you want to have a chance to win.
Minnesota got the best of the Pistons when they last faced off in Detroit on Dec. 10, but Love knows it won’t be a walk in the park going up against the giants that Detroit presents.
“They’re talented. Drummond, I think is 20 years old and he’s just a monster out there,” Love said. “You know, Monroe is super skilled and you know a lefty so it’s a little unorthodox playing against him. They’re tough but we had some luck playing against them in Detroit, but now we have to defend our homecourt.”
The size for Detroit doesn’t stop with Drummond and Monroe, though. The team has Josh Smith, who played power forward during his days in Atlanta, at the small forward position. While Smith struggles when shooting from the outside, he is shooting 55.19 percent while underneath the basket, which is right around the league average.
Wing Corey Brewer will likely matchup against Smith. Smith (6’9, 225 pounds) is a little bigger than the players Brewer is used to matching up with.
“He’s going to post up, but (I) just have to be aggressive,” Brewer said.
“It’s very important. In any game you want to limit the team from getting easy buckets like that. Obviously he’s the best in the league in getting the ball from one end to the other, one pass, so it’s something we have to contain. Coach has talked to our guards that if anybody, the 3 crashes the boards, we have to make sure one of our guys is all the way back.”