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Scouting Report | Wolves at Wizards

Todd Barin
Web Editorial Associate
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6:00 p.m., Verizon Center

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO

The Minnesota Timberwolves will take on the 35-36 Washington Wizards tonight on their home court.

With 11 games left in the season, two-and-a-half games out of the playoffs, and having suffered a bad loss to the Atlanta Hawks last game, look for the backcourt-driven Wizards to play with an edge in tonight’s matchup.

Washington has cooled off as of late, going 5-5 in its last 10 games and unfortunately isn’t playing their best basketball as the season progresses.

Keep these pieces of information in mind while watching the game this evening:

  • One player who has been playing out of his mind for the Wizards as of late is John Wall. The 2010 first overall selection is averaging 21.8 points, 12 assists, 6.2 rebounds and two steals in his last five outings.
  • One stud for the Wolves who has been performing particularly efficiently as of late is Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Rookie of the Year is making 56 percent of the shots he takes and scoring 21.4 points in his last five games.
  • Look for tonight’s game to be an up-and-down, high-paced matchup as both teams allow more than 104 points per game and are 26th or worse in the league in rebounding.

Coming Off Of…

Against a DeMarcus Cousins-less Kings team, the Timberwolves got the best of Sacramento and beat the Eastern Conference foe 113-104 on Wednesday night. Minnesota’s starters once again put on a show as Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine and Wiggins combined for 72 points. Gorgui Deing also contributed nicely with 16 points (7-for-10), 12 rebounds along with two blocks and two steals.

The Wizards suffered a disappointing loss to the Hawks on Wednesday night, 122-101, thanks to Atlanta making 17 3-pointers. Wall didn’t have the best game, shooting 6-for-17 from the field and turning the ball over seven times. Marcus Thornton added 23 points off of the bench, Marcin Gortat put up a 14 point and rebound double-double while Markieff Morris tossed in 19 points of his own.

Last Matchup:

These two teams last played one another on March 2 inside the Target Center. A combination of playing team basketball and solid bench play allowed the Wizards to walk away with the 104-98 victory. Washington tallied 25 assists on the game compared to 17 from Minnesota, and the Wizards bench outscored the Wolves', 64- 18.

While no Timberwolf played great, Towns scored 14 points and snatched 15 rebounds, and Ricky Rubio scored an impressive 22 points. Bradley Beal was the Wolf killer on the cold night, scoring 26 points and only missing five shots. Wall led his team nicely scoring 14 points and dishing out 12 assists.

Key Matchup: Bench Play

One key struggle that has been put in the spotlight recently for Minnesota has been the performance of their bench. Averaging a total of 14 combined points over the last three games, the Timberwolves need to see a better contribution for the rotational players.

Washington possesses some firepower on their bench, with players like Thornton, Jared Dudley and Nene Hilario who all have the potential to really affect a basketball game on any given night. Shabazz Muhammad, Tyus Jones and Greg Smith need to really take the next step if Minnesota hopes to win close games in the near future.

Injuries:

Wizards: Alan Anderson (groin) is questionable.

Wolves: Nikola Pekovic (foot) and Kevin Garnett (knee) are both out.

Projected Starters:

Washington: PG- Wall, SG- Beal, SF- Porter Jr., PF- Morris, C- Gortat

Minnesota: PG- Rubio, SG- LaVine, SF- Wiggins, PF- Dieng, C- Towns

 

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