In order to start laying the framework for tonight’s matchup in Dallas, the first important item of conversation is the recent news that Chase Budinger tore his meniscus in his left knee and will be out indefinitely. A timetable for his return will be made after he endures the procedure to repair the damaged knee, but regardless the loss of Budinger is a large blow to an already injury-depleted Timberwolves roster.
Following a tough road loss to a talented Chicago Bulls team, the Timberwolves have continued to overcome adversity and somehow sit at 4-2 which is good for fifth in the Western Conference. Tonight will be a sure test for Minnesota as Dallas has looked very good this season and has much more depth than the Pups currently have.
Alexey Shved will start tonight at SG with Roy sitting out due to soreness in his right knee. Shved has been one of the NBAs top rookies this season and was a key to Minnesota’s fourth quarter comeback victory in Brooklyn last week. The long and lanky Russian combo guard will have his work cut out for him as he will obviously need to assume a much larger offensive role with Budinger and Roy out, and we will be able to start to see just how capable Shved can be in Rick Adelman’s offense.
A player to pay attention to for the Mavericks tonight is rookie Jae Crowder out of Marquette, who despite being selected in the second round of the previous summer’s draft, has looked like a potential Rookie of the Year candidate playing at the SF position. Will Minnesota be able to replace Budinger’s versatility off the bench, and can the Wolves find production at SF when Andrei Kirilenko is on the bench? If Derrick Williams continues to play the way he has been, the Pups are in big trouble against the former NBA champion Mavericks.
The game will be shown on local TV and will begin at 7:30PM central time. Let’s go Wolves!