Scouting Report | Wolves vs. Thunder

Wolves vs. Thunder | 7 p.m., Target Center

Where To Watch: No TV

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO 

It feels like just yesterday when people were on the lakes, catching rays, tubing, fishing and swiping for mosquitoes like Mo Vaughn at the plate.

While summer is sadly over, it does mean that basketball season is right around the corner.

That starts for Minnesota fans on Wednesday night at the Target Center when the Wolves host the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A few storylines:

  • It will be the first time fans will be able to see Karl-Anthony Towns play in a real NBA game. Expect big minutes for the former Wildcat.
  • Will Ricky Rubio play? If he does, how much?
  • This will be Kevin Durant’s first game since missing 55 games last season with a broken right foot. Is he 100 percent? If so, how much will new coach Billy Donovan play his star?

It won’t have the feel as a regular season game, but it will be a good opportunity for fans to get a look at the 2015-16 Timberwolves.

Basketball is here, guys. Get excited.


Minnesota didn’t have any success against Oklahoma City last season, dropping all four games.

The two teams last faced off on April 15, the final game of the NBA season. The Thunder needed a win and a New Orleans Pelicans’ loss to secure them the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The Thunder did their part, beating the Wolves 138-113 behind 37 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists from Russell Westbrook.

The defense in this game was… suspect. Dion Waiters put up 33 points for Oklahoma City and Enes Kanter added 25 points and 15 boards. Nick Collison led the second unit with 12 points.

Oklahoma City shot a scorching 54.7 percent (52-of-95) from the field and 42.9 percent (12-of-28) from the 3-point line.

Kevin Martin led Minnesota with 29 points, shooting an efficient 9-of-15 from the field, 3-of-5 from the 3-point line and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. Rookies Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine combined for 42 points, 16 assists (13 from LaVine), 11 rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Lorenzo Brown led the second unit with 13 points, while Arinze Onuaku added 12.

Unfortunately for Oklahoma City, New Orleans won its game against the San Antonio Spurs, advancing the Pelicans to the playoffs.


This marks the first preseason game for both teams.


The two matched up once last season, but given Durant’s status, it didn’t do a lot for us. Durant played just 28 minutes and 22 seconds in the Dec. 12 contest, and finished with 16 points and five rebounds.

It became clear later in the season that Durant’s foot was never 100 percent.

Wiggins finished with 18 points and five rebounds, but shot just 7-of-18 from the field.

In four games against OKC as a rookie, Wiggins averaged 20.8 points, five rebounds and two assists.

This is only a preseason game, but this is a pretty cool opportunity for fans to get an up-close look at one of the NBA’s best vs. one of the game’s rising stars – even if Durant only plays 10 minutes.


Thunder: Steven Adams (back) is out.

Wolves: Nikola Pekovic (Achilles) is out. Rubio (strained right quad) is out.  


Thunder: PG – Westbrook, SG – Waiters, SF – Durant, PF – Ibaka, C - Kanter

Wolves:  PG – Jones, SG – LaVine, SF – Wiggins, PF – Garnett, C - Towns