Scouting Report: Wolves vs. Heat

Key Matchup: LeBron James and Derrick Williams James is averaging .564 from the field, tops in his career. That number is good for a high-level big man that spends his time in the post, but it’s even more impressive when you consider that James is taking plenty of shots from outside. He’s converting a career-high .413 from outside, finally establishing himself as a serious threat shooting the ball. The defensive approach to James used to be forcing him to shoot contested jumpers, since he is such a bully in the paint. But “The King” is hitting from all areas on the court and has now become nearly impossible to limit. He has won all four Eastern Conference Player of the Month awards this year. The Wolves have lost 10 of their last 12, including five straight since a solid win over Philly. But while missing top producer Kevin Love, a bright spot has been the emergence of second-year forward Derrick Williams. He’s putting up 10.8 PPG, but during the last four games he has averaged 20.5 per game. He’s also been more aggressive rebounding and seems to be finishing on more of his dunk attempts. Lots of expectations come with being drafted second overall, is this a milestone in Williams’ development? And with Kirilenko doubtful again tonight, there is a chance the 6-foot-9, 240-pound Williams could match up against James during this game on the defensive end. Injury report presented by TSR Injury Law Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko has missed the past two games with a left calf strain and is listed as doubtful for tonight’s contest. If he’s unable to play, it is a big loss for Minnesota as Kirilenko was a huge factor in the teams’ last matchup in December—the Wolves had a tough time with both James and Wade, and whichever player Kirilenko defended was slowed down considerably. Center Nikola Pekovic is questionable with an abdominal strain as well. The Heat do not have any players listed on the injury report.