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Scouting Report | Wolves at Kings

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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Monday, Golden 1 Center
Wolves at Kings, 9:00 p.m.
FS North, NBA TV, 830 WCCO

Why you should watch:

This kicks off a three-game road trip for the Wolves, and the first without All-Star Jimmy Butler, who had right knee meniscal surgery on Sunday morning. He’ll be sidelined for the foreseeable future.

While the Kings have only won 18 games this season, it’ll be a huge test for the Wolves. Butler has been the leader of this team on and off the court. Now we’ll have to see what Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jeff Teague can do without him.

In their first game without Butler on Saturday, the Wolves beat the Bulls 122-104 and those three combined for 70 points.

The Wolves are 37-26, fourth in the West. But there’s not a lot of breathing room. The difference from third to eighth in the West is a mere 2.5 games. Minnesota is trying to flip the narrative on this road trip. The Wolves are just 12-19 on the road this season, including losing their last seven.

The Kings are 18-41. They aren’t looking at the playoffs, but these are still valuable games for a young team looking to develop players like De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Skal Labissiere. Sacramento has lost its last three games and five of its last six.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

Bogdan Bogdanovic isn’t your average rookie. The 2014 first-round pick has played professionally since 2010, but finally decided to make the leap to the NBA this season.

He was the NBA Rising Stars Challenge MVP just last week and in his second game back from All-Star break, he put up 21 points, six rebounds and four assists against the Lakers.

After averaging just 8.6 points per game over his first 12 games of the season, Bogdanovic has averaged 13.5 over his last 21 games, shooting a lights-out 44.4 percent from the 3-point line.

If he had been utilized like he has been recently, the artist I’m going to now refer to as BoBog would be in the Rookie of the Year discussion.

Injuries:                                                                                   

Kings: Iman Shumpert (plantar fasciitis) is out.

Wolves: Butler (knee) is out.

Starting Lineups:

Kings: PG – Fox, SG – Bogdanovic, SF – Jackson, PF – Randolph, C – Cauley-Stein

Wolves: PG – Teague, SG – Wiggins, SF – Bjelica, PF – Gibson, C - Towns