By: Jeremy Hyman
The Wizards defeated the Timberwolves, 104-100, on November 19th at Verizon Center...The Timberwolves led by as many as 16 in the game and 12 at the half, but the Wizards mounted a big second half comeback and came away with a 104-100 victory. The Wizards moved the ball extremely well, tallying 31 assists on 41 made baskets, led by John Wall's career-high tying 16. All five starting Wizards finished in double figures, led by Bradley Beal with 25 and Nene with 20. Kevin Love had a double-double with 25 points and 11 boards, but was held relatively in check after a 16 point first quarter. Full Recap
Wizards Look to Continue Road Streak - The Wizards have won three straight road games for the first time since the end of the 2011-12 season. And thanks to Dave Johnson's Daily Wizdom, we've learned that the Wizards did not have six road wins until March 20th last season. While the team is still looking to improve while away from home, the signs are there that they are making strides towards learning how to win on the road.
Friday night's game will be the end of a strange road trip that had a five day break mixed in between games for the holidays. The Wizards swept through the Northeast with wins over the Knicks, Nets, and Celtics last week and now, after the five day hiatus, they look to continue their winning ways as they take on the Wolves in Minneapolis.
Minnesota's Offense - It's not often that a team ranked in the top five in points per game (4th, 105.6 ppg) would be ranked in the bottom five in field goal percentage (28th, 42.4 %), but that would be the case for the 2013-14 Minnesota Timberwolves. How is that possible? The Wolves get off more shots per game than anyone else in the league, averaging nearly 90 field goal attempts per contest. They rank second in the league in offensive rebounds per game (13.9), rank third in steals per game (9.1) and are in the top ten in fewest turnovers per game (14.4). All of that equates to this statistical anomaly that allows them to shoot a low percentage and still score a lot of points.
Wizards - Trevor Ariza scored a game-high 27 points last Saturday afternoon in Boston including making five of his eight three-point attempts. Ariza now has four games this season with at least five made three-pointers.
Wolves - Kevin Love is still putting up MVP numbers through the first 25 games and is coming off a season-high 45 point/19 rebound effort in a loss in L.A. on Sunday. Love is the Wolves #1 option on offense, the team's best rebounder, and is an elite passer, which makes him a threat at all times on the floor.
Kevin Seraphin - Kevin Seraphin has come off the bench to score in double figures in three of the Wizards last four games and quietly is regaining the confidence he's lacked for the beginning portion of the season. Look for him to play a factor against a big front line in Minnesota apart of the Wizards' second team.
The action kicks off at 8:00pm at Target Center.
While John Wall is having a career year in nearly every offensive category, Ricky Rubio has yet to really take off as his shot making ability is still hindering his offensive output. He's shooting just 34.7% from the field, which is tied for the second lowest in the league for any player averaging at least 30 minutes per game. He's still a wizard with the ball and can wow the crowd with his fancy passes, but until he can consistently knock down jumpers it will be hard for him to become an elite point guard.
Rubio is no match for Wall defensively, as Wall's quickness has shown to be too much for the third year guard from Spain. Wall tied a career-high with 16 assists the last time these teams met in D.C., and will look to put up a similar type game when they rematch in Minneapolis on Friday night.
John Wall gets the steal and the score against Minnesota.