Scouting Report | Wolves vs. Wizards
The last time the Wolves faced the Wizards, they earned their largest win of the season … on the road… without Karl-Anthony Towns (suspension).
A full-team effort allowed the Wolves to claim a 131-109 win in Washington on Saturday, Nov. 2, even without their All-Star center. The Wolves earned double-digit scoring efforts from six players (Andrew Wiggins, Robert Covington, Jarrett Culver, Gorgui Dieng, Jeff Teague and Jake Layman) and held the Wizards to 38.9% shooting from the field.
The Wolves are now 7-4 and sixth in the Western Conference. They’re 3-3 since their Nov. 2 win against the Wizards and are currently on a two-game win streak. Five Wolves players are averaging at least 10 points per game this season, and the offense has been led by the duo of Wiggins and Towns who’re both averaging just under 26 points per game (25.9 and 25.8). After 11 games, Minnesota remains the only team with two players averaging 25 or more points per game.
Wiggins paced the offense with 30 points in the Wolves’ Wednesday night win against the Spurs, and Towns followed close behind with 28 of his own. Their scoring prowess is unlikely to falter against the Wizards who currently hold the second-to-worst defensive rating in the league (114.6).
The Wizards are 2-7 on the season and currently sitting in 14th place in the Eastern Conference. They’ve only defeated the Detroit Pistons since facing the Wolves on Nov. 2, and their most-recent loss came on Wednesday night when they were defeated 140-133 against the Boston Celtics.
Although the Wizards have struggled to earn wins this season, Bradley Beal continues to produce on the offensive end. Beal scored 30 points against the Wolves on Nov. 2 and is averaging a career-high 28.1 points per game this season, which is currently sixth best in the league. He recorded 44 points against the Celtics on Wednesday, falling just two points shy of matching his season-high, which came on Oct. 30 in the Wizards’ 159-158 loss to the Houston Rockets.
What: Wolves vs. Wizards
When: 7 p.m. CT, Friday, Nov. 15
Where: Target Center
Watch: Fox Sports North
Listen: 830 WCCO
Culver and the Wizards’ 2019 first-round draft pick Rui Hachimura are beginning to find their footing in the league.
Culver has logged a positive plus-minus rating ever since entering the Wolves’ starting lineup on Nov. 6. Culver recorded averages of 9.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while filling in for Jeff Teague (illness) as the Wolves’ starting point guard.
The Wolves held Hachimura to four points on Nov. 2, but the rookie power forward recorded 21 points in the Wizards’ last two games on efficient shooting. Hachimura was 0-for-5 from the field in 20 minutes of play against the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 6 but is shooting 76% from the field on average ever since.
Would You Believe Me If I Told You . . .
Wiggins is averaging 31.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in the Wolves’ last five games. His scoring average is fourth best in the league and comes on a 52.1% field goal percentage and 39.4% shooting from 3-point range.
The Wolves are now 7-0 when they outrebound their opponents. The Wolves won the battle on the boards against the Spurs 50-44, making Wednesday’s win the fifth time this season the Wolves have grabbed 50 or more rebounds in a game.
Wolves: Shabazz Napier (hamstring) is doubtful. Jordan Bell (shoulder) is questionable. Jeff Teague (illness) is probable.
Wizards: Ian Mahinmi (Achilles) and John Wall (Achilles) are out.
Wolves: PG—Culver, SG – Wiggins, SF – Graham, PF – Covington, C – Towns
Wizards: PG—Thomas, SG – Beal, SF – Brown, PF – Hachimura, C - Bryant