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Scouting Report | Wolves vs. Rockets

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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The Game

The Wolves are back at home after a tough loss to the Bulls in Chicago on Wednesday night.

This is the third of four games against the Rockets for the Wolves this season. Minnesota is looking for its first win against a Houston squad that is coming off a win over the Nuggets on Wednesday and sits at 27-16, fifth in the Western Conference.

The Wolves are 15-29, tied for 13th in the West. 

The Timberwolves will wear their 2019-20 City Edition Uniforms for the second time at Target Center on Friday night against the Houston Rockets. 

Along with the game, there is plenty else planned for an evening that will pay homage to the Twin Cities.

At halftime, local legend Har Mar Superstar will perform as part of the team’s City Edition Halftime Music series, which celebrates the vibrant and eclectic music cultures of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Hailing from Minneapolis, Har Mar Superstar has traveled the world performing concerts on five continents over the past 25 years, performing with and opening for The Strokes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sia, Gossip and Lizzo.  

Local artist Robert Robinson will be performing the national anthem. Robinson was born and raised on the North Side of Minneapolis and has performed with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Kenny Loggins, Bobby McFerring and Barry Manilow.

Local chef Justin Sutherland will be serving Swedish meatballs with potato purée, quick pickles and lingonberries in the Test Kitchen by David Fhima located in section 126. When it comes to The Cities, Sutherland is plenty familiar, having six different restaurants in St. Paul. 

What: Wolves vs. Rockets
When: 7 p.m. CT, Friday, Jan. 24
Where: Target Center
Watch: Fox Sports North
Listen: 830 WCCO
Tickets

Getting Wiggins To Click Constantly 

Andrew Wiggins finished with 22 second-half points on Wednesday night against the Bulls, nearly pushing the Wolves to the comeback win.

The problem, however, was that Wiggins scored just three first-half points.

The Wolves are trying to find the consistency we saw from Wiggins to start the seasons. While Wiggins has hit double digits in each of the last 10 games, he’s averaging just 16.4 points per game during that stretch and he eclipsed 20 points just twice.

For how talented Wiggins is, and how important he is to this team’s success, Wiggins needs to be around that 20-point mark every night, while contributing in other ways.

On the season, Wiggins is averaging 22.4 points (+4.3 increase from last season) and career-highs of 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.  

Wiggins has had five or more rebounds in three-straight games, had a triple-double on Saturday against the Raptors and had nine assists on Wednesday night. The all-around game is there. It just needs to come more frequently for Minnesota’s second star.

Is Houston A Contender?

Since 2013-14, the Rockets have been one of the best teams in the NBA, eclipsing 50 wins five times and advancing to the Western Conference Finals twice. 

The Rockets revamped their championship efforts this offseason, trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook.

So, how’s it working? While the team does have 27 wins, its winning percentage is the worst since the 2015-16 season when the team lost in the first round of the playoffs. For a team that has been in NBA Finals contention for the last three years, a first-round exit in the postseason would be a huge disappointment.

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, I would expect to hear about the Rockets and Daryl Morey more than a few times. 

Injury Report:

Wolves: Jake Layman (toe) is out.

Rockets: Nene (hip) and Gerald Green (foot) are out.   

Projected Starters:

Wolves: PG—Napier, SG – Culver, SF – Wiggins, PF—Covington, C—Towns

Rockets: PG—Westbrook, SG – Harden, SF – McLemore, PF – Tucker, C – Capela 

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