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The Week Ahead | Two Away, Two At Home

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager


The Wolves have a busy week, facing off against two Eastern Conference teams and two Western Conference teams. Their first two games are on the road, while they finish the week at home on a back-to-back.
Let’s preview the week.

Wolves at Heat, 6:30 p.m.
American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
FS North, 830 WCCO

Why you should watch:

Can the Wolves carry the momentum from Friday’s thrilling win over the Thunder into this game? It’s certainly a winnable game with Miami sitting in the middle of the pack of most offensive and defensive ratings, but don’t sleep on Eric Spoelstra’s team. Few were better than the Heat in the second half of last season. They might not have the star power, but they have depth with guys like Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk, Justise Winslow and Tyler Johnson. Unfortunately, Hassan Whiteside will likely miss this one with bone bruise in his knee.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

Dragic is one of my favorite point guards to watch in the league. It all started when he backed up Steve Nash in Phoenix which seems like just yesterday but the crafty lefty is in his 10th season. That’s wild. Dragic had Minnesota’s number last season in two Miami wins, averaging 26 points and 9.5 assists while shooting a ridiculous 60.6 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from the 3-point line.
Jeff Teague and Co. will certainly have their hands full.

Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Wolves at Pelicans
Smoothie King Center
Fox Sports North, 830 WCCO

Why you should watch:

Both of these teams are hoping to make the playoffs this season and enter the week both at 3-3. Obviously, the Pelicans are loaded in the paint. Karl-Anthony Towns and Taj Gibson will need to be on their best behavior defensively. With how competitive the West is, wins over conference opponents are huge, especially those in a similar spot in the standings.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

Anthony Davis was cleared to play after suffering a knee injury that forced him to miss two games. It’s safe to say he’s just fine as he put up 30 points and hauled in 14 rebounds in a win against the Cavaliers.
We’ve seen some physical battles between Davis and Towns over the last two years. I wouldn’t expect anything different in this battle.

Don’t forget about another Kentucky player in Darius Miller. JK. I’m talking about DeMarcus Cousins.

Saturday, 7 p.m.
Mavericks at Wolves
Target Center
Fox Sports North Plus, 830 WCCO

Why you should attend:

This is the first of two games the Mavericks will play at the Target Center this season. The second is on Dec. 10. Dirk Nowitzki is 39 years old and these could be his last trips to the Target Center. Don’t miss your chance to see the final games from the future Hall of Famer.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

I picked Dennis Smith Jr. to win Rookie of the Year and early on, it appears as if that might be Ben Simmons’ award to lose. With that being said, Smith is still an exciting player who has good size, speed and athleticism for a point guard. He’s scored double-digits in four of five games and has had eight or more assists in three of five. The Mavericks will be giving Smith every opportunity to prove he’s the point guard of the future for the team.

Sunday, 7 p.m.
Hornets at Wolves
Target Center
Fox Sports North, 830 WCCO

Why you should attend:

It’s a Sunday and while you’ve probably gotten used to watching football on Sundays, your fantasy football team stinks, the Vikings are on bye and the Sunday night game is between the underperforming Raiders and Jay Cutler-led Dolphins.
Stay away!
Come to the Target Center and watch Towns, Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins try to score against the league’s No. 9-ranked defense.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

Going into the week, Dwight Howard was averaging 17.4 rebounds per game. SEVENTEEN POINT FOUR. That’s going along with 14.4 points. Maybe this experiment with Howard will work out in Charlotte unlike Los Angeles, Houston and Atlanta.