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Scouting Report | Wolves vs. Blazers

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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Sunday
Wolves vs. Blazers, 8:00 p.m.
Fox Sports North Plus, ESPN, 830 WCCO

Why you should be at Target Center:

The Wolves are looking to close out a SWEEP on their five-game homestand. They’ve already taken down the Pelicans, Cavaliers, Thunder and Knicks, respectively. Next up are the Blazers, who are five games back from the Wolves for the No. 4 seed. As of Saturday afternoon, Minnesota is actually just a half-game back from San Antonio for the No. 3 seed.

The tides are turning for the Wolves as they’ve won 10 of their last 13 games. Minnesota enters the game with a 17-6 record at Target Center. For the first time in a while, homecourt advantage is a real thing for the Wolves. They’ve sold out their last six games, the first time that’s happened since the 1991-92 season.

The Blazers have lost their last two games, both on the road. This will be their final road game before a three-game homestand. Minnesota holds the 1-0 season-series lead on Portland.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

What a comeback. Shabazz Napier is relevant again. Over his last 13 games with the Blazers, he’s averaging 14.6 points, 3.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from the 3-point line.

His 10 points per game almost doubles his previous career high mark of 5.1 in his rookie season. It seems like light years ago when Napier was traded to the Heat on draft night in 2014, but he’s only 26 years old and has plenty of basketball ahead of him, especially if he keeps playing like this.

Injuries:

Blazers: Evan Turner (illness) is questionable.

Wolves: No injuries to report.

Starting Lineups:

Blazers: PG – Lillard, SG – Napier, SF – McCollum, PF – Aminu, C - Nurkic

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