Mavericks at Wolves
4:00 pm CST
This is a game that was originally scheduled for 2:30 pm but moved because the Vikings will be doing something with an oblong ball at that time that lots of people will be paying attention to for reasons that escape my understanding.
Anywho, the Wolves will try to snap their losing streak which has reached a number that I'm not going to bother looking up on a Sunday as I write this, but things have not been going well as I know they have won only four of their last 21 contests.
Today's opponent is the Mavericks, who are once again in the think of playoff contention despite a somewhat dubious and aged roster. Rick Carlisle continues to find ways to get these guys in position to win. He's without question one of the top two coaches in the league right now.
The Mavericks feature a reclamation project back court, with Deron Williams, who looked like he had a huge fork in his back last season in Brooklyn, finding some mojo again in Dallas, and Wes Matthews, who suffered a severe injury with the Blazers last season, is back and playing full minutes.
Of course they still feature the perennial Dirk Nowitzki, who, while he isn't the All-NBA star of years past, still leads them in scoring and can make a shot from just about anywhere. Seeing him and Kevin Garnett match up, even for a few minutes, will be a fun trip in the wayback machine.
In more evidence that Carlisle knows how to get the best out of his players, Zaza Pachulia, the veteran center who was acquired from the Bucks, is having a career year with bests in TS% and rebounding as well as stellar defense helping to shore up the interior for the Mavericks, which looked like it might be a serious weakness. Instead they are one of the top defensive rebounding teams in the league this season and allow the 2nd fewest % of opponents shots within 3 feet.
The Mavs also shoot the 4th most threes per game in the league, meaning the Wolves will once again be outgunned beyond the arc.
The Wolves continue to be in a funk. Against Cleveland they got some good scoring performances from Andrew Wiggins, who desperately needed it, Shabazz Muhammad, and Karl-Anthony Towns, but never looked like winning the game. They haven't really looked like winning a game in quite a while now, as slumps and questionable efforts defensively and on the boards, along with a dearth of talent has led to the current losing skid. Their team meeting after brutal losses to the Bucks and Sixers didn't seem to achieve the desired effect, as they went out and lost a truly ugly game to Denver at home, followed by the Cavs shellacking.
Our blogging buddies are over at Mavs Moneyball. Be excellent.
No no no.
Enjoy. Chat. Go.