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The Week Ahead | Two At Home, Two On The Road

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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The Wolves wrap up a four-game homestand before hitting the road for two games against Western Conference playoff hopefuls. 

Tuesday
Wolves vs. Wizards, 7:00 p.m.
FS North, 830 WCCO

Why you should attend:

It’s a chance for the Wolves to finish their four-game homestand with a 3-1 record. So far this season, Minnesota has been good at home, going 7-3 at the Target Center. Washington will be without All-Star point guard John Wall, but the Wolves could be without Jeff Teague and Nemanja Bjelica.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

I’ll be honest. The first time I watched Otto Porter Jr. play this season was on Saturday when the Wizards lost to the Trail Blazers. Porter had 24 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 9-for-15 from the field. He looked confident without Wall in the lineup. He’ll be a tough matchup for the Wolves, especially on the perimeter with shooter Bradley Beal.

Wednesday
Wolves at Pelicans, 7:00 p.m.
FS North Plus, 830 WCCO

Why you should watch:

The Wolves beat the Pelicans back in early November. As we start the week, the Pelicans are just a game back from the Wolves in the standings. These are the important games, even early in the season, to deciding playoff positioning come April.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

DeMarcus Cousins is having himself an MVP-caliber season, averaging 25.5 points, 12.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. He’s also making 2.3 3-pointers per game. This type of stat line is pretty remarkable for a big man. It will be a tough task for Karl-Anthony Towns and Taj Gibson against Cousins and Anthony Davis.  

Friday
Wolves at Thunder, 7 p.m.
FS North, NBATV, 830 WCCO

Why you should watch:

A win would clinch the season series for the Wolves over the Thunder which is pretty incredible considering the Thunder added Carmelo Anthony and Paul George this offseason. Things haven’t gone as plan thus far as the Thunder are 8-11 going into the week, a half game back from the playoffs.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

The trio of Anthony, George and Westbrook is a fascinating one. We are only 10 games into the season, but this experiment hasn’t done well. If the struggles continue and pressure builds, how will these three respond?

Sunday
Wolves vs. Clippers, 6 p.m.
FS North, 830 WCCO

Why you should attend:

This is a short window when the Wolves are at home before hitting the road until Dec. 10 when they host the Mavericks. If all goes right this week, the Wolves could be fighting for a top three spot in the Western Conference. After starting off hot, the Clippers have trailed off, sitting at 7-11, 11th in the West.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

With Chris Paul in Houston, this is Blake Griffin’s team. With point guards Patrick Beverley and Milos Teodosic out, this offense is running entirely through Griffin, and it shows in the stat line. Griffin is averaging 23.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and five steals per game while shooting 34.5 percent on 3-pointers. He’s shooting 6.1 threes per game, up more than four from last season.