The NBA welcomes back the Minnesota Timberwolves to action tonight, as the team has been off since last Friday. That rest was much needed given the documented injuries the team is trying to recover from. It looks like Pekovic and Barea will be able to give it a go tonight for the Wolves. As you are likely well aware by now, the team announced earlier in the week that Brandon Roy had surgery on his knee and he will miss about another month of action. (Curse words)
The Nuggets come into Wednesday’s game off of a win on Monday against Memphis, improving their record to 5-6 early on in the season. That’s ‘good enough’ for last place in the Northwest division and 11th overall in the Western Conference. However, to be fair, Denver has had quite an interesting schedule, as 8 of their first 11 games have been on the road. It is also worth noting that the Wolves win/loss record against the Nuggets in recent years has been largely abysmal. Denver has absolutely dominated the Pups over the past few years, winning 19 of the last 21 including 9 out of 10 at the Target Center.
It will be interesting to see what type of pace this game has, as the Wolves have been able to slow down its opponent in most games, allowing just over 90 ppg. Conversely, the Nuggets are more prone to a high tempo game and are giving up 100 ppg. With the Wolves coming off an extended break, their legs may be inclined to try to run with the Nuggets and that could lead to some trouble.
Player to watch:
Alexey Shved – It will be interesting to see who Adelman starts at SG. Shved deserves the start, despite a desire from the coach to want to keep him as a sixth man. Malcolm Lee is not producing and Josh Howard probably isn’t ready to start games yet for the team. Whether he starts or not, this leaves big minutes for Alexey Shved in tonight’s game and that puts him in a matchup with Andre Iguodala. Can Shved handle Iguodala on the defensive end of the floor at all? Can he do enough offensively to negate Andre’s performance?
Match-up to watch:
Luke Ridnour vs. Ty Lawson – Luke has never been known as a stout defender, but he is really struggling to stay in front of faster PG’s this season and Ty Lawson may be the fastest in the league. We can assume Lawson will get more than his fair share of points and assists, but what can Luke do to on the other side of the ball to help the Wolves get back on track tonight? Ridnour has to start hitting his jump shot more consistently, shooting only 41% from the field so far this season.
The only two reasons I’m taking the Wolves tonight is because they have been off for so long and it is at the Target Center.
Final score prediction: Minnesota 98 – Denver 93
Three stars of the game predictions:
- Nikola Pekovic
- Andrei Kirilenko
- Ty Lawson
Let’s go Wolves!
Finally, Big Al will be covering the recap for tonight’s game, so everyone have a good Thanksgiving holiday!