Timberpups Weekly Preview – Week 10

Shabazz Muhammad and the Timberwolves will take on the Jazz twice this week, a great effort to stop the bleeding on their current losing streak. (Credit: NBAE via Getty Images)

Shabazz Muhammad and the Timberwolves will take on the Jazz twice this week, a great effort to stop the bleeding on their current losing streak. (Credit: NBAE via Getty Images)

 

Setting the stage:

The Minnesota Timberwolves enter the week with a 5-24 record and have lost eight straight.  The week ahead gives the Pups two games against a very beatable Utah Jazz team, with the Sacramento Kings sandwiched in between.  There may be a light ahead, as reports have surfaced that the Wolves expect Ricky Rubio to return to the court in mid-January.  Rubio has been stretching his legs during warm-ups with assistants and will be more than a welcomed sight on the floor for Flip Saunders and his crew.  While it looks like Rubio is almost ready to return to the court, there is no news out there right now for Kevin Martin or Nikola Pekovic.

As the season continues to slog along, it will be interesting to see if GM Flip is able to convince Head Coach Flip to make a move and clear more of the deck to make the franchise rebuild that much more official.  Here is a brief preview for each game of the coming week:

Game 30: Tuesday, 12/30, 8pm – Timberpups @ Utah Jazz (TV: FS North)

The Jazz open up the week with a 10-20 record and will be in Los Angeles on Monday to take on the Clippers.  The Wolves catch the benefit of the schedule gods, as the Jazz will have to travel home after Monday night’s game to play the next night.  With the Wolves’ injuries continuing to wreck the season, any benefit the team sees is well received.

Opponent to watch:

Gordon Hayward – Hayward is putting up strong numbers so far this season (18.9ppg, 5.3rpg, and 4apg).  He isn’t “worth” what the Jazz resigned him for, but I don’t understand the current NBA salary structure anymore than the next person.  Hayward does pose another tough night for Andrew Wiggins on both ends of the floor … yet again.

Game 31: Thursday, 1/1, 7pm – Sacramento Kings @ Timberpups (TV: FS North)

The Timberwolves open up the 2015 calendar year against the team they have faced 1,000 times to open up past NBA seasons.  The Kings open up the week with a 13-17 record and will also face the Timberwolves off of a game the night before.  Sacramento will be in Boston for a game against the Celtics on Wednesday night and will travel to Minnesota afterward for Thursday’s game.  The Kings are 10th in the league averaging 102.6ppg but are giving up 103.9ppg – “good” for 26th in the league.

Opponent to watch:

Darren Collison – Collison is going to be a very tough matchup for Zach LaVine and Mo Williams.  Collison has picked up starting PG duties for the Kings admirably, averaging 16.3ppg, 6apg, and 1.3spg.

Game 31: Saturday, 1/3, 7pm – Utah Jazz @ Timberpups (TV: FSN  Plus)

The Jazz and Wolves will face off for the second time in less than a week.  For the third time in a row, the Pups’ opponent will be coming off of a game the night before, as the Jazz will be in Atlanta on Friday night.

Opponent to watch:

Derrick Favors – Favors seems to have found his groove in the NBA, putting up 15.7ppg and 8.3rpg.  He will be a tough matchup for Thad Young.  I would prefer Flip goes to Anthony Bennett early and often at PF, particularly against the Jazz.

Wrap-up:

Scheduling quirks are a reason to be optimistic this week for the Pups to finally break the losing streak.  If the streak happens to get to ten, expect the Wolves to beat the Jazz on Saturday, as that will be Utah’s fourth game of the week.

Timberpups Weekly Preview – Week 9

Andrew Wiggins plays his first game in Cleveland Tuesday night. The Cavs drafted Wiggins with the #1 overall pick before trading him to Minnesota.

Andrew Wiggins plays his first game in Cleveland Tuesday night. The Cavs drafted Wiggins with the #1 overall pick before trading him to Minnesota.

Setting the Stage:

Games weren’t the only thing the Wolves lost last week. Minnesota was part of a 3 team trade that sent Corey Brewer to Houston and Ronny Turiaf to Philadelphia. In return, Minnesota received a few second round picks, as well as Troy Daniels, a volume 3 point shooter who set multiple D League records last season for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

With an 0-4 record last week, the Wolves were able to give themselves a bit of breathing room at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Minnesota’s dismal record puts them is 3 wins back of the Lakers and 4 shy of Utah. In all 4 games last week, Minnesota had opportunities to take control late, but failed to do so. Stuck in what is currently a 5 game losing streak, Minnesota will hope to break the trend. It won’t be easy, however, as the 3 teams they will face have a combined record of 50-29.

Game 27: Tuesday, 12/23, 6pm – Timberpups @ Cleveland Cavaliers (TV: FS North/NBA TV)

The Cavs sit at 16-10, a somewhat disappointing record considering the expectations they were handed. Their 7-3 in their last 10 games, however, and on Sunday, the Cavs used a 4th quarter spurt to blow past Memphis. Cleveland has started to figure things out on the court, and when they have all cylinders firing on offense, as they have done in short stints, they are nearly impossible to stop.

What to Watch:

Kevin Love - Tuesday marks Kevin Love’s first meeting against Minnesota. Playing alongside Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, Love’s production has decreased significantly. His average of 16.8 ppg and 10.5 rpg are the lowest numbers he’s posted since his 2009-2010 sophomore campaign. But make no mistake, Love will be up for this game, and if the Wolves aren’t able to defend him, the score could get ugly.

Game 28: Friday, 12/26, 8pm – Timberpups @ Denver Nuggets (TV: FS North)

The game this week that appears to be the most winnable comes Friday in Denver. The Nuggets may not have any all-stars, but a glut of quality talent at several positions makes them competitive team, even in the loaded west. Although Denver won’t find themselves still playing basketball come May, their home court advantage is unparalleled. The altitude combined with a passionate fan base makes it tough for any team to win inside Pepsi Center.

What to Watch:

Faried vs. Shabazz - Arguably the two hardest working power forwards in the game will be matched up on Friday. Both are fan favorites, but only one is known as the ‘Manimal.’ As rumors have circulated surrounding Faried’s standing on the team this season, his numbers have down across the board, averaging a career low in rebounds while only scoring 10.8 ppg.

Game 29: Saturday, 12/27 9:30pm – Timberpups @ Golden State Warriors (TV: FS North)

There isn’t much to say about Golden State, other than that they’re really, really good. With a record of 22-3, the Warriors dominant in all facets, including defensively, where they rank first in the league.

What to Watch:

The Perimeter – If Minnesota wants to pull off the monumental upset, they will have to prevent the Warriors from dominating the game from deep, where they average nearly 10 makes a game on 38% shooting. It starts with the Splash Brothers, Klay and Steph, and extends to Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, and the rest of their bench.

Wrap Up:

Unfortunately, another winless week seems to be on the horizon. But with the return of Ricky Rubio looming, the Wolves christmas stocking won’t be filled entirely with coal.

Timberpups Weekly Preview – Week 8

When will any of these guys return to the Timberwolves lineup? (Credit: NBAE via Getty Images)

When will any of these guys return to the Timberwolves lineup? (Credit: NBAE via Getty Images)

Setting the stage:

The Minnesota Timberwolves head into week eight with a 5-17 record before Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Target Center.  After Sunday’s game the Wolves will head east for two games before returning home to wrap up the week.  The injuries continue to plague the team/roster with little help in sight.  While this should help in the long run, it is frustrating and sometimes painful to watch right now.  The minutes that Flip Saunders is giving to Zach LaVine will help judge where he fits best with this club – which position, role, etc.  Andrew Wiggins and Gorgui Dieng are getting heavy minutes and the learning curve would seem to be quickening because of it.

The week ahead has several very winnable games for our Pups.  Here is a brief preview for each:

Game 24: Tuesday, 12/16, 6pm – Timberpups @ Washington Wizards (TV: FSN Plus)

The Wizards may be the surprise team in the league right now with a 16-6 record, with a home game on Sunday against the Utah Jazz.  A win on Sunday would be their fourth in a row.  Washington is .5 games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks to lead the Southeast division.

Opponent to watch:

John Wall – Wall is having a career year averaging 17.8ppg, 10.5apg, and over 2 steals a game.  This is likely going to be a very rough matchup for Zach LaVine in trying to contain Wall and even if Flip rotates a bit, that would put the Wolves’ rookie on Bradley Beal – who is coming off of a big performance this past week against the Lakers.

Game 25: Friday, 12/19, 6:30pm – Timberpups @ Boston Celtics (TV: FS North)

The Celtics enter the week with a 7-14 record and will face the Sixers and Magic on Monday and Wednesday night respectively ahead of Friday night’s matchup in Beantown.  The Celtics are coming off of an embarrassing loss against the Knicks and will look to recover against two other sub-par Eastern Conference teams ahead of the Wolves.

Opponent to watch:

Jeff Green – While underwhelming on the court to many, I have always liked Green and thought he would have been a good fit on the Wolves’ roster.  Green is averaging over 20ppg this season and has a PER of 16.6.  He isn’t rebounding at a high level but is the clear #1 option on offense for the Celtics.  Mr. Wiggins will have another opportunity to guard the top scoring option of the opposition.

Game 26: Sunday, 12/21, 6pm – Indiana Pacers @ Timberpups (TV: FS North)

The coldest team in the league is the Indiana Pacers, having lost eight games in a row.  They will be in Denver for a game on Saturday night and will have to fly to Minnesota for Sunday’s matchup at Target Center.  Sunday’s game could be a nice return home for the Wolves who have the ability to pull off the victory against a struggling team.

Opponent to watch:

Roy Hibbert – The Pacers are somewhat faceless this year due to injuries.  Hibbert has been up and down but will be a tough test for Gorgui Dieng.  Hibbert is only averaging 11.6ppg and 7.3rpg but should be able to turn it on at any point.  At least one would think that.

Wrap-up:

The Timberwolves could easily win at least two games this week with several struggling opponents from the Eastern Conference.  How many wins do you foresee for the team this week?  Go Pups!

Timberpups Weekly Preview – Week 7

 

Zach LaVine had a breakout game on Nov. 29, in his first trip to LA as a Wolf. (Danny Moloshok, AP Photo)

Zach LaVine had a breakout game on Nov. 29, in his first trip to LA as a Wolf. (Danny Moloshok, AP Photo)

Setting the Stage:

Week 6 was not very kind to our beloved pups. An 0-4 record dropped Minnesota to 4-15 overall, which puts them in last place in the loaded West. Among the week 6 defeats were a loss to the previously winless Sixers and an overtime loss to Houston.  The good news? Minnesota is only one win behind both Utah (5-15) and Los Angeles (5-16). Here’s a preview of this weeks games – where the Wolves have a shot to climb out of the cellar with a few wins.

Injury Report:

Ricky Rubio: Sprained Ankle – Out until January

Kevin Martin: Broken Wrist – Out indefinitely

Nikola Pekovic: Wrist and Ankle soreness – Out at least another week

Ronny Turiaf: Hip – Out at least another week

Mo Williams: Back Spasms – Missed last two games, should be back soon

Shabazz Muhammad: Sore Ankle – Questionable for tonight

Game 20: Monday, 12/8, 7pm – Golden State Warriors @ Timberpups (TV: FS North)

Monday marks Minnesota’s first meeting this season with the Western Conference leading Warriors (17-2). The Warriors will enter Target Center riding an impressive 12 game winning streak. Lead by rookie coach Steve Kerr, the Warriors are sustained their offensive excellence with surprisingly efficient defense, as their defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) of 98.1 is best in the league.

What to Watch:

Klay Thompson: The son of former Golden Gopher Mychal Thompson, Klay was reportedly offered by Golden State to Minnesota in exchange for Kevin Love this summer. The trade never came to fruition, but Wolves fans won’t forget Mychal Thompson telling ESPN Radio in June that if Klay was traded, he would have to, “talk him down off the ledge.”

For Klay, this will be his first meeting with Minnesota since the talks surfaced. In his fourth season, Klay is averaging career highs in both points (21.2) and 3-point shooting (44.8%). Stopping Thompson will be crucial if the pups want to pull off the massive upset.

Game 21: Wednesday, 12/10, 7pm – Timberpups @ Portland Trail Blazers (TV: FS North)

With a record of 16-4, Portland leads the Northwest Division and is currently in a tie with Houston for second in the West. In their first meeting with the pups on Nov. 30, Portland defeated Minnesota 107-93 behind point totals of 26 and 23 for LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews, respectively.

What to Watch:

Wesley Matthews: In 20 career games against Minnesota, Matthews has averaged 17.7 points per game on 44.3% shooting from 3. The only team he averages more points against is Utah (18.7). With the Wolves inability to defend anything beyond the arc this season, another big game from Matthews should be expected.

Game 22: Friday, 12/12, 7pm – Timberpups @ Oklahoma City Thunder (TV: FS North)

The rejuvenated Thunder (7-13) will play Minnesota for the first time this season on Friday. Oklahoma City recently welcomed Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant back from injuries, and have gone 2-1 since Durant’s return. In their abscence, several players, including Reggie Jackson, were forced to expand their role. Jackson is averaging career highs in minutes (36.8) points (17.9), assists (6.8) and rebounds (4.9).

What to Watch:

Russell Westbrook: Westbrook will provide a major challenge to whoever defends him, including Zach LaVine, who many have projected to develop into a similar player as Westbrook. Westbrook has only played six games since returning from injuring, but is on a tear, combining career highs in points (23.7) and 3-point percentage (41.2%). His athleticism, power, and fiery personality combine to make him one heck of a player, and a spectacular dunker.

 

Game 23: Sunday, 12/14, 6pm – Los Angeles Lakers @ Timberpups (TV: FS North)

Minnesota’s last game of the week also appears to be the easiest. A rematch with the Lakers, who Minnesota defeated 120-119 on Nov. 29, might be just what the Wolves need. In their first matchup, LaVine went off for 28 points, and a Thaddeus Young free throw in the final seconds put the Lakers away.

What to Watch:

Kobe Bryant: Bryant currently sits fourth on the all-time points list, just 62 behind Michael Jordan. With just two games remaining (Kings, Spurs) for the Lakers before facing Minnesota, it’s conceivable, if not likely, that Bryant could pass Jordan on Sunday. Whether or not he’s within range of the record on Sunday, you can expect Kobe to be up for the game. He’ll be looking for revenge on Minnesota after missing a game-winning three at the buzzer the last time these two teams met.

Wrap-Up:

In what is hopefully the last week the Wolves are without Pekovic, Minnesota faces a murderer’s row of elite Western conference teams, plus the struggling Lakers. Anything more than one win this week might be asking too much of the shorthanded Wolves, but it’s within the realm of possibility that they can pull off an upset or two.

 

Timberpups Weekly Preview – Week 6

Flip's the man in charge!  (Photo credit: Star Tribune)

Flip’s the man in charge! (Photo credit: Star Tribune)

 

Setting the stage:

The 4-10 Timberwolves (pending Sunday night’s result in Portland) head into a busy week of action in week 6 – wrapping up a trip to the West Coast in Los Angeles before returning home for two games and heading back on the road to close out the week.  After defeating the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday night, the team traveled to Portland for a game on Sunday, only to have to return to Los Angeles for Monday’s game against the Clippers.  Here is a brief preview for each game this week:

Game 16: Monday, 12/1, 9:30pm – Timberpups @ Los Angeles Clippers (TV: FS North)

A back-to-back traveling up and down the coastline with another opponent that is playing really well to start the season.  The Clippers remain a tremendously talented, regular season team that must do more in the playoffs to earn respect around the league.  Chris Paul and Blake Griffin continue to put up big numbers on a nightly basis.

Opponent to watch:

DeAndre Jordan – Assuming Nikola Pekovic doesn’t return for this game, Jordan will likely be a headache for the Wolves.  While Gorgui Dieng provides respectable defense, a lot of his strength is in help defense and not so much in a one-to-one set – yet, at least.  That should come as Dieng continues to become more familiar with the pro game.

Game 17: Wednesday, 12/3, 7pm – Philadelphia 76ers @ Timberpups (TV: FS North Plus)

The Sixers open the week at 0-16 and will likely be 0-17 when they come to Minneapolis, given that they face the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.  The Wolves need to win games like this one for morale and to keep the home fanbase at bay.

Opponent to watch:

Tony Wroten – Wroten leads the Sixers in points, assists and steals per game.  Paging Andrew Wiggins.  Wiggins continues to guard the strongest wing opponent night in and night out and it shouldn’t change when Philly comes to town.

Game 18: Friday, 12/5, 7pm – Houston Rockets @ Timberpups (TV: FS North)

Take a second to go look at divisional standings and how far ahead the Southwest division is vs. all others.  Friday’s game against the Rockets starts a five game stretch of very hard match-ups for the Wolves.  Kevin McHale’s Rockets enter the forthcoming week at 13-4 and have a huge match-up against the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Selfishly, please allow me to use this space as another plea to leverage a game against Kevin McHale to break out the original blue uniforms from the Timberwolves early years.

Wolves original blue uniforms picked up at the Target Center during my trip to Minnesota (This is Kevin Love's jersey, not Sam Mitchell, not Donyell Marshall)

Wolves original blue uniforms picked up at the Target Center during my trip to Minnesota
(This is Kevin Love’s jersey, not Sam Mitchell, not Donyell Marshall)

Opponent to watch:

James Harden – Paging Mr. Wiggins again!  Harden is having another phenomenal season with a PER just under 24.

Game 19: Saturday, 12/6, 7:30pm – Timberpups @ San Antonio Spurs (TV: FS North)

The second of a back-to-back against the defending champs.  Why not just have this game in Mexico City?  The Spurs blew out the Wolves in Minnesota earlier this season (121-92), largely due to …

Opponent to watch:

Tony Parker – Parker led the Spurs in Minnesota with 28 points on 12-18 shooting.  Mo Williams struggled to contain the Spurs PG as he ran as an efficient of an offense as you will find in the NBA.

Wrap-up:

Week 6 is a very tough week for the Timberwolves, who need to protect the Target Center floor against the Sixers.  The Pups can’t be the first team the Sixers defeat this season.

Let’s go Wolves!

Timberpups Weekly Preview – Week 5

(Jesse Johnson/Reuters)

(Jesse Johnson/Reuters)

Setting the Stage:

Last Wednesday saw Minnesota put an end to a five game losing streak with a win over the struggling Knicks. The win was their first without Rubio, and was highlighted by Kevin Martin’s 37 points on 8 made threes. Also: Shabazz Muhammad took flight.

But even when the Wolves win, they seem to lose. It turns out that in the first quarter against the Knicks, Kevin Martin broke his wrist when he was fouled attempting a three. Incredibly, Martin managed to score 37 points with the injury, because the Knicks are bad at defense. Martin is sidelined indefinitely.

Martin is the latest starter to be sidelined. With Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic also out with injuries, and Thad Young mourning the loss of his mother, the Wolves had to finish off the week with just one player left from the opening day starting lineup – Andrew Wiggins.

Wiggins and the rest of the Wolves did their best to compete with the Spurs and Kings over the weekend, but they stood little chance against two teams competing for playoff spots in the loaded Western Conference.

The Wolves are currently 3-9, good for 13th place in the West, but the news isn’t all bad. The schedule for week 5 isn’t particularly grueling, and the team welcomes back Thad Young, who practiced Monday and is expected to start for the Wolves on Wednesday.

Game 13: Wednesday, 11/26, 7pm – Milwaukee Bucks @ Timberpups (TV: FS North Plus)

If the Kings are the surprise team in the West, then the Bucks are the surprise team in the wide-open East. With a record of 7-7, Jason Kidd seems to have the Bucks headed in the right direction. The Bucks are being led by Brandon Knight. Yes, the same Brandon Knight who was destroyed by Deandre Jordan, and crushed on a screen from Pekovic is leading the Bucks in both scoring (18.1) and assists (6.4).

What to Watch:

Jabari Parker vs. Andrew Wiggins: The top two picks in the 2014 NBA Draft will face off against each other in the regular season for the first time. No, they won’t be matched up on each other, but this is the first chance to watch them on the court together. This game will determine who is the better player*

*No it won’t, it’s just one game. Chill out.

The Greek Freak: He’s only in his second season, but point-forward/Elastic Man Giannis Antetokounmpo is already one of the most electrifying players in the league. Not only is he a freak on the court, he’s also been surprisingly efficient this season, posting a PER of 17.9 and shooting 52.5% from the field. Oh yeah, and he’s also grown from his 6’9″ height on draft day to 6’11” this season. He also loves smoothies.

Game 14: 11/28 9:30pm Timberpups @ Los Angeles Kobes (TV: FS North)

(Courtesy NY Post)

(Courtesy NY Post)

Yes, not even Jack Nicholson, star of the film “The Shining,” can take the horror of the 2014-2015 Lakers. Because sometimes contested Kobe Bryant 20 footers just aren’t enough to keep you awake.

The Lakers do excel at one thing: terrible defense. Los Angeles isn’t just bad at defense, they are historically awful. Their 117.2 defensive rating is worst in the league, and on pace to be the worst rating in league history. At Grantland, Zach Lowe did a fantastic job breaking down what makes the 2014-2015 Lakers so weird.

What to Watch:

Kobe Shot Count: One thing you can count on Friday is that Kobe will shoot the ball. A lot. Kobe is averaging 24 attempts per game, but is shooting an atrocious 38%. Kobe has seemingly stopped caring about his teammates, solely focusing on personal accolades, like passing Michael Jordan for career points.

The question for Friday is who guards Kobe? Whether it’s Brewer or Wiggins, the matchup should be a fascinating one.

Wrap-Up:

For the first time in what feels like forever, the Wolves have a chance to sweep their weeks slate of games. Neither Milwaukee or Los Angeles are quite the formidable foes that Sacramento and San Antonio were last week. And with the return of Thad Young, the Wolves will have a rejuvenated front line to go along with the phenom that Andrew Wiggins has looked recently.

Howl

Timberpups Weekly Preview – Week 4

Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine look to bring the Target Center to their feet this week (Credit: NBA YouTube)

Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine look to bring the Target Center to their feet this week (Credit: NBA YouTube)

 

Setting the stage:

After competitive games through the first two weeks of the season, the loss of Ricky Rubio has proven to be a catastrophic loss for our Timberpups.  The Wolves have lost five in a row, having last seen victory on Wednesday, 11/5 in Brooklyn.  This past week was particularly rough for the Wolves, losing in Mexico City to the Rockets, getting shellacked in New Orleans, and falling in Dallas to close out the week.

The Pups are getting virtually nothing from their veterans right now.  Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin are struggling on both ends of the floor.  Mo Williams remains an important cog off the bench but is not stepping up when replacing Zach LaVine on the floor.  Flip Saunders is/was relying on these veterans to not only perform on the court but to keep things in order in the clubhouse.  This season is going to be a learning process and keeping the locker room together is going to be a challenge for Flip and his staff.

On the docket for this week are three home games (among a four game homestand).  For some reason the schedule calls for another break in the action as the Wolves won’t start this week until Wednesday.  Here is a brief preview for each game this week:

Game 10: Wednesday, 11/19, 7pm – New York Knicks @ Timberpups (TV: FS North)

The Knicks are, once again, an abomination of a team and franchise.  At least they are on the hook for the rest of Carmelo Anthony’s prime, right?  I’m not sure if that is a good thing either.  If it weren’t for the 76ers, the Knicks would be the worst team in the NBA.  As an added bonus, there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel, whereas you could say there is for the rebuilding 76ers and our own Pups.

Opponent to watch:

Carmelo Anthony – Anthony leads the team in scoring (of course) and in assists (what?!).  ‘Melo resigned with New York for the league maximum and remains unsuccessful in making anyone around him better – despite those 3.7 assists per game.

Game 11: Friday, 11/21, 7pm – San Antonio Spurs @ Timberpups (TV: FS North)

The NBA champs have come out of the gate somewhat slowly and are playing in the league’s strongest division.  Cause for concern?  Of course not.  Popovich is monitoring minutes among his veteran squad and knows exactly what he is doing.  I learned about five years ago, stop discounting and giving up on the Spurs … they will always prevail.

Opponent to watch:

Tony Parker – After watching LaVine get torched by J’rue Holiday on Friday night, this is going to be another tough matchup for the Pups rookie.  Parker leads the Spurs in scoring and assists and will use his wily veteran skills to teach a few lessons to the rookie.

Game 12: Saturday, 11/22, 7pm – Sacramento Kings @ Timberpups (TV: FS North)

Perhaps the surprise team of the first month of the NBA season, the Kings are 6-4 and getting an A+ effort from DeMarcus Cousins, who leads the team in rebounding, assists, steals, and blocks.  He is also putting up 22.1ppg, second behind …

Opponent to watch:

Rudy Gay – No one can question Gay’s ability to score throughout his career.  This will be a tough matchup for Andrew Wiggins and a nice barometer for how his defensive ability has adjusted to the NBA over the first month of his career.

Wrap-up:

The Pups need to return home and grab the “W” over the Knicks to start off this homestand and give the Target Center a reason to cheer.  From there, this week looks challenging.  Hopefully, Thad Young is able to return to the club after his mother’s passing and will give the club a boost.

Let’s go Wolves!