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Scouting Report | Wolves vs. Thunder

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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Wednesday
Wolves vs. Thunder, 7:00 p.m.
ESPN, FS North, 830 WCCO

Why you should be at Target Center:

This marks the third-straight home game for the Wolves as part of a five-game stretch. If you were lucky enough to be at Monday’s game, my goodness. What a win over LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

And somehow, this game might be more important as far as the standings go.

The Wolves are fourth in the West at 26-16, while the Thunder are 22-19, sixth and 3.5 games back from Minnesota. Minnesota is 2-1 against Oklahoma City this season and a win would give the Wolves the tiebreaker if it would come down to that at the end of the season.

The Target Center has been sold out for four-straight games. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t five after tonight with Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George going up against Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

The games this season between the two teams have been decided by an average of three points, which basically guarantees the last minute of this game will be an intense one.

Minnesota has won its last two games while Oklahoma City has dropped its last two, including last night at home against Portland.

If the Wolves can grab a win, they’ll be just 1.5 games back from the Spurs for third place in the West.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

As much as I want to say anyone but Russell Westbrook, the basketball bones in my body won’t allow me to do that.

Last year’s MVP seems to have adjusted to having George and Anthony in the lineup. He’s averaging 24.8 points, a league-leading 10.1 assists and 9.6 rebounds per game. Wait, he’s only 0.4 rebounds per game away from a triple-double and we’re not talking about him as an MVP candidate?!

Conversation for another time.

Jeff Teague has been upgraded to questionable for the Wolves, but even if he does play, it’s hard to see him play a whole lot of minutes. There’s a good chance the Wolves take a team-approach defense with Westbrook, much like most teams do and what the Wolves have done this season with him.

Injuries:

Thunder: Andre Roberson (knee) is out.

Wolves: Teague (knee) is questionable.

Starting Lineups:

Thunder: PG – Westbrook, SG – Ferguson, SF – George, PF – Anthony, C - Adams

Wolves: PG – Jones, SG – Wiggins, SF – Butler, PF – Gibson, C - Towns