Wizards at Timberwolves
7:00 pm Central
On November 19th, the 7-4 Minnesota Timberwolves took a 12 point lead into the locker room at halftime against the 2-7 Washington Wizards. The Wizards looked, for want of a better word, awful on the young season, and it appeared as if the Wolves would cruise to another win and continue their excellent start to the season.
Instead, the Wizards roared back, in part due to an embarrassing display of transition defense by the Wolves, and won when former Wolf Martell Webster made a three pointer (one of his five that evening) with seconds remaining to give the Wizards the lead.
The Wizards have gone 10-6 since that game, while the Wolves have gone 6-11.
The Wolves will look to get back on the winning track when the Wizards make their trip to Target Center tonight for the first post-Christmas game for both squads.
This is the start of the softest part of the Wolves schedule, and it is imperative that they take advantage of the next month. Three painful losses in the last four games (at Boston, Lakers, and Clippers) have set them back in the Western Conference, and if they are unable to make a move in January, the pressure to make significant changes will mount.
That starts tonight against a Wizards team that has been taking advantage of a poor Eastern Conference, and now sit in 6th place thanks to the 2nd easiest schedule in the NBA so far this season.
The Wizards have held their own on the defensive end much as the Wolves have: by turning teams over, avoiding fouls, and rebounding misses, but also allow opponents to make a high percentage of shots. Offensively, Marcin Gortat has gotten into a good groove inside, while Webster, along with Trevor Ariza and Brad Beal are all shooting over 40% from behind the arc.
The Wolves return to action after five days off over Christmas, and will look to put the ugly run of games behind them. Kevin Love has been playing fantastic basketball, and Nikola Pekovic has also been on a good run of form, but their perimeter play has been poor in recent games, and the bench remains a gaping wound.
Game thread will be up at 6:45.