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Wolves at Grizzlies: Game #68

After the dispiriting loss to the Phoenix Suns on Monday the Wolves travel to Memphis to take on the injury-ravaged Grizzlies.

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Timberwolves vs Grizzlies coverage

Wolves at Grizzlies
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I want to take a quick trip down memory lane to about a year ago. The Timberwolves were about to face off against the New York Knicks on March 19th. Ricky Rubio was declared inactive due to ankle soreness and the Wolves were down to 7 players, one below what is required for active players by the NBA. So the Timberwolves signed Sean Kilpatrick to a 10-day contract. Kilpatrick was currently playing in the D-League on the Delaware 87ers and was chosen specifically due to him being within a 3-hour drive of Madison Square Garden so he would be able to make the game.

These were dire times and the tankathon was on. This was the same season that saw Lorenzo Brown play a full 48 minutes at point guard almost immediately after he signed on with a 10-day contract. Kilpatrick only stayed around for those ten days and averaged 5.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 4 games.

Kilpatrick's story has recently taken a turn for the better as he is now on his second 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets. He has actually been playing quite well for them and has dropped 19 points two games in a row now. Nets Daily, the Nets' SB Nation site, has a great article about it here.

I bring this up as the Memphis Grizzlies find themselves in a similar precarious situation this year due to injuries. The current missing players from the Grizzlies line-up are Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Brandan Wright, Chris Andersen, Jordan Adams, Zach Randolph, and now P.J. Hairston. Mario Chalmers was also previously on the team, but was waived soon after he ruptured his achilles. Those are all the players currently out for sure and Lance Stephenson and Vince Carter will be a game-time decisions, although they are unlikely to play.

In response, the Grizzlies are currently using three players on 10-contracts and are looking to add a fourth as the injuries continue to mount. The no-name roster was absolutely blown out on Monday night against the Houston Rockets by 49 points. This is what happens when the biggest names left on the roster are Matt Barnes and Tony Allen.

As is likely obvious, this is a game that the Wolves should win, even more so than the game against Phoenix a couple of days ago. The Grizzlies are barely fielding a competitive NBA roster in the same manner of the Timberwolves a year ago when we were forced to sign whoever could make it to the arena in time. However, the difference is that the Grizzlies are actually somehow in playoff contention and working to hold onto their 5-seed in the conference.

The starting unit of the Timberwolves should have a field day on the offensive end tonight, as they will be playing against vastly inferior competition in terms of skill level. This will also likely be one of the few times all year when the Timberwolves bench will be facing similarly skilled opponents to themselves.

Unfortunately over the last couple of years the Wolves have been prone to extremely embarrassing losses. There have already been several this year, although none quite matching when the Wolves were the breaking point to the 76ers almost historic losing stream to open last season. This game would likely fall amongst those infamous games if the Wolves managed to let the Grizzlies walk away with a victory tonight.

Regardless, a victory is likely tonight and the Wolves have been getting lots of production from their young players of late. Hopefully this one won't be stressful.

Expected Starting Line-ups
(Although Memphis' starting unit is subject to change as game-time injury decisions are made so I am just going off of their last game)

Briante Weber
Tony Allen
Matt Barnes
JaMychal Green
Ryan Hollins

Ricky Rubio
Zach LaVine
Andrew Wiggins
Gorgui Dieng
Karl-Anthony Towns

Our blogging friends are over at Grizzly Bear Blues

No, no, and no.

Enjoy the game