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Shootaround Report | Wolves vs. Heat

by Kyle Ratke

Web Editor

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The Wolves are going up against a force in Miami center Hassan Whiteside tonight.

Minnesota beat Miami earlier this season in overtime, but Whiteside was out.

In 12 games this season, the Heat center is averaging 15.5 points, 13.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks.

The man trying to limit his production will be Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns.

“I’m glad to go out and compete against the best of the best every night,” Towns said after Friday’s shootaround. “ . . . The best is what gets your juices going.”

With all the attention on small ball around the league, centers might not be getting the credit they are due. But don’t let that fool you. There are still loads of good to great centers in the league. Whiteside and Towns are in that group.

“I think people are overlooking that,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “There are a lot of good centers in the league . . . They keep coming.”

Momentum With Miami

The Heat are coming off a win over the mighty Boston Celtics on Wednesday, handing Kyrie Irving and company its third loss of the season.

Heat point guard Goran Dragic thinks the team can carry some of the momentum to the Target Center tonight.

“First, our energy,” Dragic said. “We need to come out aggressive, be ourselves. Then we want to come out and built on that win.”

Dragic’s coach, Eric Spoelstra appreciates the win, but he isn’t buying that it can be a huge builder. For him, it’s one step at a time.

 “I don’t care. I don’t care what it can do,” Spoelstra said. “I Just want to see our guys focused and our mindset right.”

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The game will air on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO.

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