Nuggets vs Timberwolves coverage
Nuggets at Wolves
Just to get it out of the way. PEK!!!!!!!!!!
Whoo. That felt necessary.
The Timberwolves come into this game looking to even up the season series against the Denver Nuggets, who lead the series 2-1. The Wolves are coming off their low point of the season with Monday night's loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. That loss was on the heels of two disappointing efforts, leading to an outpouring of strong criticism against the coaching schemes that seem to be leading the Timberwolves nowhere near a positive (nor modern) direction.
During Tuesday's practice, the Wolves spent most of the time clearing the air and holding a discussion at mid-court. The response from the players and organization has been uniformly positive coming out of the meeting, as the team hopes to turn a new page and regain some of the momentum they built up at the beginning of the year.
The Nuggets are coming into this game on their own losing streak of 6 games, although some of them were tightly contested games against substantially better teams (such as the game where the Nuggets took the Warriors to overtime). The Nuggets are an equally young team to the Timberwolves and rely on their wings Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton for their primary scoring options.
The Nuggets' frontcourt is perhaps the most exciting part of this team, as Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic are looking like promising players. Nurkic is still limited to a 15 minute restriction as he has been slowly recovering from his knee surgery last year..
Emmanuel Mudiay, the Nuggets' touted rookie, will also likely be returning tonight according to Denver's coach Mike Malone. Mudiay hasn't played since December 11th and will be coming off the bench tonight and will likely be on a minute restriction.
The big news for the Wolves tonight is that Nikola Pekovic is likely to play (confirmed by Darren Wolfson) after it was said that he was 50/50 for playing tonight. Pek hasn't played since his surgery around April last year, which was noted as a last ditch effort that would likely spell the end of Pek's career if it was unsuccessful. This was accompanied by discouraging reports throughout the year on his recovery, so this is a welcome surprise that he is a go for tonight.
Pek's return will necessitate some juggling of the frontcourt rotation from the Wolves coaching staff and its likely either Bjelica or Payne will fall out of the rotation as a result. This will also mean another player will likely not suit up, which I'm guessing will be Kevin Martin. I know I am excited to see Pek go to work again and, if we are lucky, see just one Ricky and Pek pick-and-roll.
Both teams come into tonight 12-23. Another poor showing from the Wolves would be pretty disastrous, especially coming after the supposed clearing of the air during Tuesday's practice. Hopefully the Wolves can win one at home here.
Our partner blog is over at Denver Stiffs
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