Tim's Game Preview: Game 51, Memphis Grizzlies

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Full disclosure: I was one of the bozos who was against the trade when it happened. I'm glad I was wrong on this one.

Minnesota Timberwolves (24-26) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (26-21) at FedEx Forum

After getting a much-needed victory against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday afternoon, the Wolves are back on another road trip and will play tonight in Memphis. The Grizzlies defeated the Los Angeles Lakers last night, but had lost three in a row and six of eight prior to that win.

Memphis has won six in a row in this series, as well as five straight at home against the Wolves. Their two wins over Minnesota came on January 4th (90-86) and February 8th (85-80). During the latter, Kevin Love was absent due to his suspension for two-stepping Luis Scola in the face.

If the Wolves have any hope of making the playoffs, they need to win games like these. Unfortunately, neither Nikola Pekovic or J.J. Barea made the trip, so they will not be able to help tonight or tomorrow against Charlotte.

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Thanks to Pekovic's absence, Derrick Williams has been starting and getting more minutes at the power forward spot.

Projected Starting Lineups

C: Kevin Love vs. Marc Gasol
PF: Derrick Williams vs. Marreese Speights
SF: Wesley Johnson vs. Rudy Gay
SG: Martell Webster vs. Tony Allen
PG: Luke Ridnour vs. Mike Conley

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Will a team overpay O.J. Mayo more or less than the Grizzlies overpaid Rudy Gay?

Last 5 Games

Minnesota Timberwolves (4th in Northwest, 13 1/2 behind OKC; 11th in West, 3 behind Houston for 8th)

Sun, Mar 18: Loss at Sacramento 99-115
Mon, Mar 19: Win at Golden State 97-93
Wed, Mar 21: Loss at San Antonio 100-116
Fri, Mar 23: Loss at Oklahoma City 140-149 (OT)
Sun, Mar 25: Win vs. Denver 117-100

Memphis Grizzlies (3rd in Southwest, 7 behind SAS; 6th in West, 1/2 ahead of Denver for 8th)

Sun, Mar 18: Win vs. Washington 97-92
Tue, Mar 20: Loss at Sacramento 110-119
Thu, Mar 22: Loss at Portland 93-97
Sat, Mar 24: Loss at LA Clippers 85-101
Sun, Mar 25: Win at LA Lakers 102-96

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At least Barea should be healthy for the playoffs. (See what I did there?)

Injuries

Minnesota Timberwolves

J.J. Barea - Out with a bruised thigh

Nikola Pekovic - Will miss at least one week with bone spurs

Ricky Rubio - Out for the season

Memphis Grizzlies

Darrell Arthur - Out for the season after right Achilles surgery

New-grizzly-gilbert-arenas-gets-close-with-memphis-coach-lionel-hollins

Did you really do that to Andray Blatche's shoe?

Noteworthy States

  • According to John Hollinger's Playoff Odds, the Minnesota Timberwolves have a 0.5% chance of winning the 2012 NBA Championship. The Grizzlies have a 1.9% chance. 9 teams have a 0.0% chance (CLE, DET, TOR, NJN, WAS, CHA, GSW, SAC, NOH)
  • If the regular season ended today, it would be the first time that Kevin Love is not in the top-10 in rebound rate. He is currently tied with Andrew Bynum for 12th at 19.2. Marcus Camby of the Houston Rockets is #1 at 22.9.
  • In 2 games with the Memphis Grizzlies, Gilbert Arenas is shooting 22% (2-of-9), has 6 personal fouls and 4 turnovers (to 4 assists)
  • In games with at least 1 day of rest, the Timberwolves average 101.8 points per game on 44.1% shooting. In games with 0 days of rest, the Wolves averag 95.9 points per game on 43.2% shooting

Darko_medium

Just for fun.

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