The New Orleans Pelicans come to Target Center winners in 4 of their last 5 games (Memphis, Detroit, Orlando and Cleveland) following an eight-game losing streak.
Jrue Holiday is out without a timetable for his leg injury. Ryan Anderson is also out, for at least two months, with a herniated disc.
Second-year Anthony Davis has an injured index finger (and will not play this evening) but has averaged 23 points, over 11 rebounds and almost 4 blocks and 2 steals in just under 40 minutes a game over his last ten.
Pelicans likely starting lineup:
PG Brian Roberts
SG Eric Gordon
SF Al-Farouq Aminu
Anthony Davis Alexis Ajinca
C Greg Stiemsma
Brian Roberts has filled in for Holiday, averaging 12 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds on 50% shooting formt he field in just under 30 minutes while last year’s Rony Turiaf, Stiemsma has slid into the starting lineup for Anderson and allowed Davis to man the power forward spot. Steamer’s just averaging 17 minutes a game, but is committing over four fouls a game in those limited minutes (over the last five games).
Without Davis, Holiday or Anderson, Eric Gordon will be leaned on heavily this evening. Gordon is averaging 16 points on 43% shooting from the field in 41 games for the Pelicans this season.
Wolves likely starting lineup:
PG Ricky Rubio
SG Kevin Martin
SF Corey Brewer
PF Kevin Love
C Rony Turiaf
Nikola Pekovic will rest the next ten days and be re-evaluated at that time. Rony Turiaf will get his starting spot and Gorgui Dieng will likely split time with Dante Cunningham sliding over in certain matchups, but going without Pek could be a challenge and a learning experience for the Wolves to adjust to, to say the least. Pek is averaging 19 points and 9 boards on the season and has seen his fair share of 35+ minute games so far this season. On the positive side, the rest could work out if the Wolves catch a few breaks like Anthony Davis sitting out games against them.