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Scouting Report | Wolves at Spurs

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., AT&T Center
Where to Watch: FOX Sports North, ESPN
Listen: 830 WCCO

Basketball season is back!

The Wolves kick off the season in San Antonio against a Spurs team that won 61 games last season.

This opens the most-anticipated season for the Wolves in quite some time with the additions of Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford. The team might catch a bit of a break if Kawhi Leonard is unable to go.

A few tidbits heading into Wednesday night’s game:

  • For those watching on ESPN, Mark Jones and Mark Jackson will be on the call.
  • Rudy Gay joins the Spurs after spending the last three-plus seasons with the Kings. Gay should give the Spurs some scoring, most likely off the bench. He’s just three years removed from averaging 21.1 points per game with the Kings while shooting 36 percent from deep.
  • Andrew Wiggins will look to turn things around against the Spurs. In four games last season against San Antonio, Wiggins averaged just 15 points per game while shooting 32.2 percent from the field.

Last Matchup . . .

The Wolves were 0-4 against the Spurs last season.

The last game came on March 21 at the Target Center. The Spurs won 100-93 thanks to 26 points from LaMarcus Aldridge. Kawhi Leonard added 22. Ageless wonders Pau Gasol and Manu Ginobili were huge off the bench, scoring 11 points each. Danny Green added 10. The Spurs forced 23 Timberwolves’ turnovers in the game.

The Wolves were led by Karl-Anthony Towns’ 25 points and 15 rebounds. Wiggins scored 22, while Shabazz Muhammad led the second unit with 18 points. Minnesota’s bench played well. Four out of the five players off the bench had a positive +/-.

Coming Off Of . . .

The Wolves are coming off of a 142-110 loss to the Warriors in Shanghai. Minnesota was 2-1 in the preseason.

Wiggins led the Wolves with 21 points, shooting 9-for-13 from the field. Towns added 16 points. Butler had a solid all-around game of 16 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals. Teague and Gorgui Dieng scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Minnesota shot an impressive 31-for-37 (83.8 percent) from the free-throw line.

The Spurs are coming off of a 106-97 home win against the Rockets to wrap up preseason on Friday. San Antonio ended preseason 3-2.

Aldridge led the Spurs with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Gay added 15 points and seven rebounds. Kyle Anderson scored 13 points while shooting 5-for-6 from the field. Green and Joffrey Lauvergne scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. San Antonio shot a scorching 52.9 percent from the field. 

Key Matchup: Karl-Anthony Towns vs. LaMarcus Aldridge

Towns is coming off a monster second season in which he averaged 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 54.2 percent from the field, 36.7 percent from the 3-point line and 83.2 percent from the free-throw line – all career highs. The 21-year-old former No. 1 pick averaged 21.8 points and 14.8 rebounds in four games against the Spurs last season

Aldridge finished his second season with San Antonio last season and averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game – both his lowest numbers since his rookie season in 2006-07 with Portland. In four games against the Wolves, Aldridge averaged 19.8 points and five rebounds per game. 

Injury Report

Spurs: Leonard (quad) and Tony Parker (quad) are out.

Minnesota: Justin Patton (foot) is out.

Projected Starters

Spurs: PG – Anderson, SG – Mills, SF – Green, PF – Aldridge, C - Gasol

Minnesota: PG – Teague, SG – Wiggins, SF – Butler, PF – Gibson, C - Towns