Preview: Phoenix Suns (11-19) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (13-13)

The Suns play their 2nd game of a back-to-back Saturday night at Target Center. They lost to Indiana Friday, 97-91, their 4th straight. Goran Dragic is questionable, after being laid out by JR Smith during their loss to the Knicks Wednesday. Prior to their 4 game losing streak, they had a 4 game winning streak, in which they beat Memphis and Utah — so don’t sleep.

Suns probable starting lineup:

PG Sebastian Telfair

SG Shannon Brown

SF Jared Dudley

PF Luis Scola

C Marcin Gortat

Although it’s easy for anyone familiar with former Wolves Michael Beasley, Wes Johnson and Telfair to be overconfident, it isn’t wise. Gortat may be missing Nash’s pick-and-roll assists, and Scola may be in decline, but since replacing Beas in the starting lineup, Dudley’s been solid. Tonight could be a showcase game of sorts for him, as he’s been on a few Wolves trade target lists and would fill a desperate need for perimeter shooting and defense. Dudley is at 41% from 3 on the year, is a career 40% shooter from deep, and hung 36 on the Knicks, going 11-17 from the field, 5-8 from deep, and 9-9 from the line.

In his start for injured Dragic, Telfair scored 19 points (8-20 from the field) and had 6 assists while going 1-6 from 3. Dragic is day-to-day and seemed to get up for his matchup with Ricky Rubio last year. It will be interesting to see if he gives it a go.

Wolves probable starting lineup:

PG Luke Ridnour

SG Alexey Shved

SF Andrei Kirilenko

PF Kevin Love

C Nikola Pekovic

Brandon Roy is said to be making his return to the Wolves Saturday night, and Adelman will most likely play it safe and keep his minutes under watch. Shved’s solid play makes Roy a candidate to solve the problem of finding a worthy backup for Kirilenko. If Adelman’s tendency of playing Ridnour, JJ Barea and Shved together are any indication, Roy could get as many small forward minutes as he can handle.

Love and Rubio have reportedly been working on their conditioning this week. The prospect of doing remedial work in December isn’t ideal, but expected after each have had such long layoffs. The Wolves have managed to both have a little leeway and kicked away enough opportunities for feelings of urgency in such a young season to be legitimate. Yet the mounting toll of injuries should give pause to the panic as healing and readjustment periods are given a chance to progress. (That’s just one doctor’s opinion.)

Regardless, Phoenix offers the Wolves a nice opportunity to get some work in and reacquaint themselves with their winning ways.

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