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Timberwolves at Lakers Preview

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The Wolves look for their second win of the year over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Timberwolves at Lakers
9:30 Central 
ESPN

The Wolves look to get back over .500 tonight at Staples Center against the Lakers, who they beat earlier in the year on the back of a record setting 47 point first quarter.

Unfortunately, Ricky Rubio is questionable with "flu-like symptoms," which raises the following question:

Is Ricky Rubio:

a) actually sick with the flu, or 
b) did he go out with Kevin Love in Los Angeles last night?

I've been a bit concerned about this trip, as they flew in on Thursday afternoon, leaving plenty of time last night for, well, shenanigans.

Meanwhile, the Lakers will be without Kobe Bryant, who fractured his tibia the other night and is out for another six weeks. Without anything resembling a point guard on the roster, the Lakers have signed Kendall Marshall out of the D-League. Whether he'll be available tonight is unclear.

Who they might start at point guard is also unclear. Wes Johnson anyone?

The Lakers are playing at a D'Antonish pace, but doing so with a bunch of mediocre players. Still, they are shooting threes well (38%), behind Jodie Meeks (42%), Wes Johnson (40.5%!) and Nick Young (38%), but are without Steve Blake, another of their good shooters.

They are a poor rebounding team on both ends and don't get much in the paint, as Pau Gasol has not shot the ball well this season. Jordan Hill has done some decent work inside, but that's about it.

For the Wolves, if Rubio doesn't go, I expect J.J. Barea to start, though there is no official word. They could try to throw Alexey Shved out there and see how that goes.

The Wolves have another day off in L.A. tomorrow before playing the Clippers on Sunday.  No more "flu" please.

Expected Lineups

Lakers

Xavier Henry (?)
Jodie Meeks
Wes Johnson
Jordan Hill
Pau Gasol

Wolves

J.J. Barea (?)
Kevin Martin
Corey Brewer
Kevin Love
Nikola Pekovic

I'll leave you with this bit of funny:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/PDWolves">@PDWolves</a> Flip was on with Barreiro today and when asked about lack of attacking the basket he said Shabazz could help with that.</p>&mdash; casey (@stepfathers) <a href="https://twitter.com/stepfathers/statuses/414181949943447552">December 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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