Scouting Report: Wolves vs. Mavricks
Wolves vs. Mavericks 6 PM - Target Center
Where to Watch: FS North
Where to Listen: 830 AM WCCO
Wolves Editorial/Social Media Associate
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The Minnesota Timberwolves look to snap a three-game losing streak Sunday night as they host the reigning NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks.
The Wolves have lost their three games this season by a combined nine points, and in order to reverse that trend tonight they'll need to eliminate the turnovers that have plagued them through the season's first week.
Against Miami, Minnesota tallied 25 turnovers and finished 12-of-20 at the line, numbers that could be tough to overcome against a Dallas team that is 9-0 at the Target Center since Jan. 7, 2006.
Mavs’ rocky start
Dallas is a new-look team this year, having lost center Tyson Chandler, guard JJ Barea and forward Caron Butler while picking up forward Lamar Odom and veteran guard Vince Carter in the offseason.
The turnover possibly led to Dallas' rocky 0-3 start prior to beating the Raptors 99-86 on Friday. Leading the Mavs to their first victory was Center Ian Mahinmi with a career-high 19 points led the way in that victory with a career-high 19 points.
While both the Mavs and Wolves have a similar start to the 2011-12 season, Minnesota coach Rick Adelman has taken notice of what Dallas may bring to the court Sunday night yet his only focus is on what his team needs to do.
"They seemed to get it together (against Toronto)," Adelman said. “They certainly could have won the Oklahoma City game there. They have so much talent. It's just going to take time. You can't worry about Dallas."
Key matchup: Battle At Power Forward
Wolves forward Kevin Love has been red-hot through the first three games of the season, averaging 26.0 points and 14.7 rebounds per game during that stretch. He's showing his range—being able to score near the hoop and at the 3-point line—and at both areas of the floor he's shown proficiency at drawing fouls and getting to the free-throw line.
Tonight, he'll match up against last year's NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, who in his 13th year is still the catalyst for the Mavs' offensive play. This season has been no different, as Nowitzki is averaging 22.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. He'll be a threat offensively, but he can certainly make plays on the defensive end. Nowitzki tallied four steals and a block in Friday's 99-86 win over Toronto.
Barea game time decision
Wolves guard JJ Barea sounded optimistic at Saturday's practice about his ability to return tonight to face his former team, but it will likely be a game-time decision. Barea, trying to return from a left hamstring injury, said he is has been both anxious and cautious about returning from an injury he's never had before.
"With Sunday, I have to have everything in my game to be able to go out there and do my job," he said. "I'll make sure I'm ready. I'll make sure to get my rest and practice more. I think I'll be ready to go. The way it feels today, I think it will be good by Sunday."
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.