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Minnesota Faces New York: Timberwolves vs. Knicks Game Thread

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A media storm will most likely surround Thursday night's game between the two worst teams in the NBA.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Wolves vs. Knicks
6:30 CDT
Fox Sports North Plus

There are a lot of question marks headed into Thursday night's game, but one thing is for sure: a lot of eyes will be watching this matchup. With the Wolves and Knicks holding just 14 wins apiece, the game at Madison Square Garden will determine which squad is the the worst in the NBA. Hopefully, it won't be the Timberwolves.

Minnesota played the Knicks one other time this season, on Nov. 19. The Wolves pulled out a 115-99 win with the help of Kevin Martin, who scored 37 points and also suffered a fractured wrist. Ironically, Martin tallied 37 points again last night against Toronto. It can be expected that New York will play special attention to defending Martin on the perimeter tonight.

Carmelo Anthony (who will not play tonight) was the most effective in the teams' last meeting, scoring 20 points. Amar'e Stoudemire, no longer with the Knicks, added 19 points off the bench.

The Wolves are coming into this contest with a tired, short-staffed squad, and they have lost nine of its last 10 games. New York, on the other hand, is coming off an exciting 104-100 OT win over San Antonio Tuesday night. Former Wolves guard Alexey Shved has been playing well since joining NY; he and Langston Gallow combined for 43 points over the Spurs. Lou Amundson added a career-high 17 rebounds.

Although buzz surrounding the lottery is loud this time of season, and the word "tanking" is thrown around quite a bit, it's expected that neither team will want to lose this game to be dubbed worst in the league.


Key Matchup

Ricky Rubio vs Langston Galloway
With both teams forced to watch key players sit on the bench, there isn't one overly exciting matchup in this game. However, the Knicks and Wolves will both be looking to their point guards to have big performances, and Rubio and Galloway each have the potential to sway the game one way or the other.

On paper, Rubio is the better PG. But Wolves fans know that doesn't always mean anything. Rubio put up solid numbers in February, but his shooting percentage has dropped significantly, and he's been less-than-reliable lately. If he has a big game, though, the Wolves should easily pull off a win at Madison Square Garden.


Injury Notes

The Wolves continue to be without Robbie Hummel (hand), Shabazz Muhammad (finger) and Anthony Bennett (ankle). Kevin Garnett (knee), Gary Neal (ankle) and Nikola Pekovic (ankle) are listed as questionable.

The Knicks with be without Cleanthony Early (ankle), Jose Calderon (foot) and Carmelo Anthony (knee).


Expected Lineups

Knicks
Langston Galloway
Alexey Shved
Lance Thomas
Lou Amundson
Andrea Bargnani

Wolves
Ricky Rubio
Kevin Martin
Andrew Wiggins
Adreian Payne
Gorgui Dieng

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