No rest for the wicked. Fresh off dispiriting loss #2 since Kevin Love’s return, the Wolves get a chance to wash the nasty out their mouth from less than ten days ago when the Warriors beat the Wolves at Target Center, 106-106.
Unlike last night’s backcourt beat-down in Portland, the Warriors shot 2-15 from 3, and dominated points in the paint to the tune of 20-60. Carl Landry in particular, feasted on the Wolves lean front line with 15 points on 6-8 shooting.
Warriors probable starting lineup:
PG Stephen Curry
SG Klay Thompson
SF Harrison Barnes
PF David Lee
C Festus Ezell
Andrew Bogut is expected back at practice early next week, so the Festus Ezell show continues to start for the time being.
Barnes built on the successful run he had leading up to the Warriors last matchup with the Wolves with two solid outings against Oklahoma City and Dallas. He has struggled in his last two, however, failing to reach double figures in scoring.
Wolves probable starting lineup:
PG Luke Ridnour
SG Malcolm Lee
SF Andrei Kirilenko
PF Kevin Love
C Nikola Pekovic
The potential scandal surrounding Luke Ridnour’s payola defense — that offers any point guard matching up against him to throw up All NBA numbers, is growing after Damian Lillard’s huge night in Portland last night. Curry’s crack at headlines tonight.
The biggest difference in this game will be the Wolves additions of Love and Pekovic. As they showed last night, getting to the line a combined 28 times and gathering 9 offensive boards, they can be a handful for a team lacking their defensive anchor, Bogut. Point in the paint should be a different story this time than last.
The Barnes-AK47 matchup was a little disappointing last time around, as Barnes got loose for multiple forays to the rim. The last two games have been a mixed bag for AK, and perhaps the added front court help will allow him to focus more on putting the rookie in his place.
No sight of Derrick Williams since Love showed up, but last time around he was the star of the night for the Wolves, scoring 23 points on 16 shots. If Lee continues to be an offensive liability (and not be utilized on defense to guard Ridnour’s man?!), and Shved continues to be shell-shocked by the league’s new, more physical way of defending him, how long until Williams has a chance to put those numbers up somewhere where room exists for him to try?