Apr 14, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) dribbles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Spurs 91-86. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves (30-51) @ San Antonio Spurs (58-23)

Final game of the season. Spurs signed Tracy McGrady and waived Stephen Jackson for feuding for weeks with Gregg Popovich, who says all of his regulars are going to get some play in their final tune-up before (most likely) facing the Houston Rockets in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.

PG Tony Parker

SG Danny Green

SF Kawhi Leonard

PF Tiago Splitter

C Tim Duncan

This is good news for Wolves fans, because Ricky Rubio’s triple double came against the Spurs without Duncan, Parker or Leonard — not that Jackson, Green and Manu Ginobili are slouches in any respect, but it did make Ricky seem a bit opportunistic. One of the eye openers in the Rubio era has been the more than capable defense he’s brought to his point guard matchups. Early in the season or in the last 10 years, it’s been simple to chalk up a hot-scoring night for whatever point guard or perimeter threat was lining up against the Wolves. (Tony Parker’s career high was an especially comical display of defensive ineptitude done in by a very capable performer.) But no more. These days Ricky’s gambling ways tend to catch him more flack as a stat-chaser, instead of a desperate competitor, but thinking back to Luke Ridnour’s flailings earlier this season, that thought should be banished. Tonight’s another night to go prove it.

PG Ricky Rubio

SG Luke Ridnour

SF Andrei Kirilenko

PF Derrick Williams

C Nikola Pekovic

Pek has missed the last 3 games with a calf strain and is likely done for the season. At this point, there isn’t any reason to push it, although, it’s tempting to think of what the Wolves could do against the Spurs if they were in the Rockets position. Pek gave Splitter fits and has had success against Duncan. The only threat this evening will be whether Steamer gets into any tiffs with Parker or Green while setting screens up top.

Here’s hoping the Wolves give as good an effort as they’ve managed over the last month. While not quite inspirational, it has been a pleasant surprise in contrast to the April fades of recent memory.

Go Wolves!!!

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Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves Pregame Preview San Antonio Spurs

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