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The Week Ahead | Back After The Break

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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All-Star Break is coming to an end. The Wolves got a nine-day break from games and will return to practice on Wednesday before hosting the Mavericks on Friday.

Another thing to keep an eye on is the NBA trade deadline which is on Thursday at 2 p.m.

We already had a blockbuster trade hit the waves late Sunday night as the Pelicans acquired DeMarcus Cousins from the Kings.

Here’s the look ahead for the Wolves.

Friday

Wolves vs. Mavericks, 7 p.m.

FS North, 830 WCCO

Tickets

Why you should attend: This could be your last chance to see future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki at the Target Center. Nowitzki is 38 and is playing just 26 minutes per game, his lowest mark since his rookie season in 1998-99.

And as far as the playoffs go, these two teams are trying to stay alive. At 22-35, the Wolves are 3.5 games back from the eighth seed. The Mavericks are 22-34, three games back.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:  DIRK! He’s not what he used to be, but he’s still one of the best players of the last 20 years to play.

A few fun Dirk facts:

  • From 2000 to 2012, he averaged 21.6 or more points per game. That’s 12 straight seasons! Or roughly half of my life!
  • According to Basketball Reference, one of his nicknames is “Tall Baller From The G.” Really rolls of the tongue, huh?
  • Nowitzki has played 61(!) career games against the Wolves. In those games, he’s averaging 21.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 38.6 percent from the 3-point line.
  • I’m sure someone will make a documentary at some point, but think about how many great power forwards who’ve entered the league in the late ‘90s. Nowitzki. Kevin Garnett. Tim Duncan (and center). Chris Webber. Rasheed Wallace. We were kind of spoiled.

Saturday

Wolves at Rockets, 8 p.m.

FS North, 830 WCCO

Why you should watch: This is the first time the two teams will have faced off since Jan. 11 when the Wolves beat the Rockets 119-105 at the Target Center. The Rockets have only lost 18 games this season, so that win from Minnesota is one the Wolves can hang their hat on. I’d bet that James Harden and the Rockets will look for a bit of revenge.

Opposing player I’ll be watching: He’s only playing 15.9 minutes per game, but I don’t care. Corey Wayne Brewer is my boy. He and I became close when he was here from 2013-15 before he was traded to Houston and no player has made me laugh as much as Brew. The dude always had a smile on his face. His production on the court this year has dipped. He’s only averaging 4.2 points per game, but he has appeared in all 58 games. I’m excited to watch this one to see Brew’s big smile.

*Update: Brewer has since been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. I guess we'll take the guy Brewer was traded for, Lou Williams. How will the heat-check shooting guard fit in with the high-scoring Rockets? Prior to the trade, Williams was averaging a career-high 18.6 points per game with Los Angeles. Obviously he won't be putting up those numbers with Houston, but he'll be another scorer on an already dangerous team.

 

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