Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves (12-9) @ Orlando Magic (10-13)

You would be right to look at the Orlando Magic and wonder what life might be like if the Wolves were in the Eastern Conference. This Magic squad has 10 wins. Two over Phoenix and Detroit, for four of them, sure — but they’ve also beaten Golden State twice, as well as Denver and the Lakers. What the what?

They shoot 33% from 3 — good for 26th in the league (to Minnesota’s 29.8%, last in the league). They get to the line 16.8 times a game, last in the league (to Minnesota’s 27.3, good for 3rd). So they can’t shoot from 3 or get to the line, but opponents are shooting 43.8% against them (8th in the league) and they are 8th in the league in rebounding (43.4 a game).

This could be an ugly game.

Magic probable starting lineup:

PG Jameer nelson

SG Arron Afflalo

SF Moe Harkless

PF Glen Davis

C Nikola Vucevic

After breaking his hand in the season opener, Hedo Turkoglu is out with no timetable for his return. In his stead, prize Dwight Howard acquisition, Moe Harkless is starting at small forward and 17 minutes and 4 points a game.

Would be Wolves trade target, J.J. Redick is averaging 14 points a game on 40% shooting from the floor with 2.4 3s a game (36% shooting) over his last 5.

Vucevic is figuring things out, averaging a near double-double on the season and 9.6 points, 10.4 rebounds on 56% shooting over his last 5.

Wolves probable starting lineup:

PG Luke Ridnour

SG Alexey Shved

SF Andrei Kirilenko

PF Kevin Love

C Nikola Pekovic

After bruising his hand late during the Wolves’ win in New Orleans, Kevin Love was a scratch the next night against Dallas. But it was for “flu-like symptoms” and not the hand, so he’s day-to-day, with the hopes that the Florida weather will do him some good.

The Ricky Rubio effect worked mightily in favor of embattled forward Derrick Williams, as he led the team in +/-, with a +16. His 16 points and 6 rebounds came on 9 shots and his shots all seemed to come with minimal decisions needing to be made on his part. Will Love’s return move Dante Cunningham to the backup spot in front of Derrick, or will he manage to get a few minutes alongside Rubio at the small forward?

Rubio, himself, had an uber-efficient, adrenaline-filled evening, finishing with 8 points on 4 shots, 9 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals, all in only 18 capped minutes. It’ll be interesting to see how Adelman manages Ricky Rubio’s minutes in the next week as competition gets tougher. He is ruled out of back-to-backs for the time being and is likely to sit out the game in Miami tomorrow.

Next Timberwolves Game Full schedule »
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Tags: Kevin Love Minnesota Timberwolves Orlando Magic Preview Ricky Rubio

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