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Scouting Report | Pistons vs. Wolves

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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7 p.m., Target Center

Where To Watch: FS North

Where To Listen: 830 WCCO

The Wolves are coming off of a road trip in which they split back-to-back games against the Miami Heat (win) and the Orlando Magic (loss). After having the day off on Thursday, Minnesota will host the Detroit Pistons on Friday at the Target Center.

Minnesota sits at 5-7 overall, and as of 5 p.m. on Thursday, the Wolves are tied for tenth place in the West.

Detroit is 6-5 overall, and is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

A few tidbits heading into Friday night’s game:

  • Former Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver has appeared in 10 games for the Pistons and is averaging 3.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. From 2010 to 2012, Tolliver averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game for the Wolves.
  • Minnesota is hoping to get Nemanja Bjelica on the right track. In the last two games, Bjelica has shot a combined 1-for-11 and fouled out on Wednesday night against the Magic.
  • On Wednesday, Ricky Rubio put up 12 rebounds and 12 assists for the fifth time in Wolves history. Rubio has now done it twice. Kevin Garnett did it twice as well, while Michael Williams accomplished the feat in 1992.

COMING OFF OF…

The Wolves are coming off of a heartbreaking 104-101 overtime loss to the Orlando Magic. Magic guard Evan Fournier hit two Sam Cassell-dance-shots to win it for Orlando.

Andrew Wiggins led Minnesota with 28 points to go with five rebounds. Rookie Karl-Anthony Towns had another double-double, finishing with 21 points, 12 rebounds and six (!) blocks. Zach LaVine led the second unit with 14 points, while Kevin Martin pitched in 12.

The Pistons snapped a four-game winning streak by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 104-99, on Tuesday at home. Andre Drummond had a team-high 25 points to go with 18 rebounds. Reggie Jackson had a double-double as well, finishing with 23 points and 12 assists. Former Buck Ersan Ilyasova finished with 20 points, connecting on 4-of-6 of his 3-point attempts. Marcus Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

LAST MATCHUP

The Wolves swept the Pistons in two games last season. The last game came on Feb. 8 in Auburn Hills. Minnesota won 112-101 thanks to 29 points from Nikola Pekovic. Martin added 24 points. Wiggins had a solid all-around game, finishing with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Thad Young and Mo Williams finished with 16 and 11 points, respectively, while LaVine led the second unit with 10 points.

KEY MATCHUP: ANDRE DRUMMOND VS. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

This will be another test for Towns. Both Drummond and Towns have been rebounding machines so far this season.

Drummond ranks first in the league with 18.9 rebounds per game, more than five rebounds than Dwight Howard who sits in second place. He’s also scoring 19.1 points per game.  Towns ranks eighth in the league averaging 10.7 rebounds per game to go with 15.8 points. He’s also seventh in the league averaging 2.4 blocks per game.

Towns should be able to take Drummond out of the paint defensively with his outside shot. Drummond, on the other hand, scores almost exclusively at the basket.

In two games against Minnesota last season, Drummond averaged 14 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks per game.

INJURIES

Pistons: Jodie Meeks (foot) and Brandon Jennings (Achilles) are out.

Wolves: Pekovic (Achilles) is out.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Pistons: PG- Jackson, SG – Caldwell-Pope, SF – Morris, PF – Ilyasova, C - Drummond

Wolves: PG- Rubio, SG- Wiggins, SF- Prince, PF- Garnett, C- Towns

 

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