Lakers at Wolves
7:00 pm CST
As we discussed in the game preview earlier today, the Lakers come to town only once this season, meaning tonight is the last appearance Kobe Bryant will make at Target Center. There is always a large, pro-Lakers crowd any time they are in town, and that should be exacerbated tonight with the Kobe Factor.
Meanwhile, as we also discussed, the Lakers come in 3-18 and one of the worst teams in the NBA. They are struggling both offensively and defensively, and there is no reason why the Wolves should not end their four game losing streak tonight after three consecutive disappointing home losses.
The Lakers recently made changes to their starting lineup, installing Lou Williams and Larry Nance Jr. in for rookie D'Angelo Russell and 2nd year man Julius Randle for reasons that made no sense when Byron Scott announced them.
None of that means anything this year, which appears entirely lost for the Lakers, and not in a good way. It's one thing to tank, it's another to do so in a way that inhibits the possibly good young players you actually do have. That's not stopping Kobe, however, who comes into the game with a higher usage percentage than field goal percentage, which, when you think about it, is amazing.
Anyway, tonight has to be about the Wolves salvaging something from a horrendous home stand. The last three games have been distinctly disappointing, as they appear to be regressing at a time when they should be getting better. Of course these things are never perfectly linear, but still. It's also a tremendous opportunity for Andrew Wiggins to get going at home, something he's struggled with all year. He will likely be guarded by Bryant, who has neither the size nor the athleticism anymore to hang with Wiggins, who needs to attack with control and patience. There is no reason for him not to dominate this match up.
Larry Nance Jr.
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Enjoy the game. Chat here. Go Wolves.