Scouting Report: Wolves (12-12) at Celtics (11-14) | Dec. 16, 2013

by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Scouting Report: Wolves (12-12) at Celtics (11-14) | Dec. 16, 2013


Timberwolves at Celtics | 6:30 PM — TD Garden

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North, NBATV

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

View Timberwolves Game Notes

The difference between the West and the East is made pretty obvious in this game. The Celtics, 11-14, sit in fourth place in the East, while the Wolves, 12-12, aren’t even a top-8 team in the West.

This will be the second time the two teams will have faced off this season. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on Fox Sports North, NBATV and 830 WCCO-AM.

Boston, coached by rookie NBA coach Brad Stevens, are in a territory it didn’t think it would be in, fighting for a playoff spot. The Wolves, sitting at 12-12, are right in the thick of things in the West. They’re currently 10th in the conference, two games behind Dallas in the eighth spot.

Wolves Minute

Dec. 16, 2013

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Last Meeting

The two teams last played on Nov. 16 at the Target Center and the Wolves came away with a 106-88 win.

Love led the Timberwolves with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic joined the double-double club with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Kevin Martin added 20 points and six rebounds. The bench was strong for Minnesota. Dante Cunningham, J.J. Barea and Robbie Hummel combined for 33 points. The Wolves forced 21 turnovers while committing just 13.

Avery Bradley led Boston with 27 points. Brandon Bass scored 15 points while Jordan Crawford added 10. The Wolves limited Jeff Green to zero points on 0-of-6 shooting.

This Week’s Results

The Wolves essentially led wire-to-wire on Sunday night in Memphis and withstood the Grizzlies’ second-half run in a 101-93 victory at FedEx Forum. Minnesota had lost 11 straight to the Grizzlies and 14-of-15 overall, so that victory in Memphis served as another long losing streak snapped against another NBA opponent under Rick Adelman’s tenure. Kevin Love was a big part of the victory, scoring 30 and adding nine boards on the night. Nikola Pekovic had 19 points, while point guards J.J. Barea (15 points) and Ricky Rubio (12 points) gave the Wolves a solid 1-2 punch.

Previous to that, the Wolves lost a tough one against the San Antonio Spurs after beating Detroit Tuesday and Philadelphia Wednesday.

Boston beat rival New York on Friday, 90-86. The Celtics were led by Sullinger, who had 19 points. Courtney Lee was big off the bench, scoring 18 points. Bradley had 13 points while Bass added 10. Boston shot 48.5 percent from the field.

Before that game, the Celtics lost two in a row to the Nets and Clippers, respectively.

What To Watch: Ricky Rubio vs. Avery Bradley

Tonight we’ll get a glimpse of two players who pride themselves on making a defensive impact in the back court. Avery Bradley has always been viewed as a defensive specialist throughout his first three years in the league. He’s pesky and causes disruptions with his play. But Bradley is starting to be looked at as a two-way guy, particularly given he is averaging 13.9 points while shooting 39.4 percent from the 3-point line.

For the Wolves, Ricky Rubio serves a similar roll on the defensive end. Rubio is currently second in the NBA in steals per game at 2.92 per night. That’s second only to Michael Carter-Williams, who has played in nine fewer games than Rubio due to injury. But Rubio has been impactful on the offensive end recently, too. He’s fourth in the league with 8.2 assists per game, and over his last four contests he’s finished in double-digit scoring all four games. He’s averaging 12.0 points per game this month and recorded a season-high 21 points three games ago against Philadelphia.

Injury Report

The Wolves will be without wing Chase Budinger, who is out while recovering from preseason left knee surgery. Center Ronny Turiaf is out indefinitely with a radial head fracture in his right elbow.

Boston will be without point guard Rajon Rondo (knee). Forward Kris Humphries (knee) is questionable for Monday’s game.

Probable Starters

  Timberwolves Celtics
PG Ricky Rubio Jordan Crawford
SG Kevin Martin Avery Bradley
SF Corey Brewer Jeff Green
PF Kevin Love Brandon Bass
C Nikola Pekovic Jared Sullinger


For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.