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Scouting Report | Wolves vs. Wizards

by Julian Andrews
Web Editorial Associate Follow

Timberwolves vs. Wizards, 6:00 p.m.
Capital One Arena
Fox Sports North, 830 WCCO

Why you should watch:

The Wolves are coming off a massive win at home against the Warriors, and they’ll look to build upon their success tonight against a Wizards team that also has a lot to play for.

Have we mentioned the West is close? Yes, many, many times. But I’ll say it again! The West is crazy close. The Wolves, currently in sixth with a record of 39-29, only need to make up a half game on the Pelicans and Thunder to move to fourth in the conference and secure home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

While the race in the West has understandably dominated headlines, there is a real battle for home court advantage shaping up in the East, and the Wizards are right there in the thick of it in 5th place.

Washington is 5-5 in their last 10, but the Wolves will need to stay sharp against a team led by a real offensive talent in Brad Beal, and a couple of excellent wing defenders and shooters in Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr.

Also, there’s a good chance you’ll see history being made if you watch tonight! Andrew Wiggins only needs three points to move past Doug West and become the fifth-leading scorer in Timberwolves history.

The last time the Wolves played the Wizards it was an unusually low-scoring contest. Minnesota took a 92-89 loss at home.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

It seems like a cop out to pick the best player the Wizards will have on the floor, but all eyes tonight will be on Beal. The Wizards boast very balanced scoring, but Beal’s performance on both ends of the floor will determine the likelihood of a Wizards win.

With Nemanja Bjelica starting at small forward and Wiggins moving to shooting guard, Beal will be tasked with slowing down Wiggins, who has a three-inch height advantage. This may not seem like much, but Wiggins’ elite athleticism should help him take advantage and finish over Beal. Beal will be looking to use his strength to keep Wiggins on the perimeter.

Beal is an excellent shooter, averaging 2.5 threes per game on the season. He also has an arsenal of dribble moves at his disposal, and is a good passer, averaging 6.6 assists per game since the Wizards lost John Wall to a knee injury.

Injuries:

Wizards: John Wall (knee) is out

Wolves: Jimmy Butler (knee) is out

Starting Lineups:

Wizards: PG – Satoransky, SG – Beal, SF – Porter Jr., PF – Morris, C – Gortat

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