Washington Wizards (38-29) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (39-29)
When: Tuesday , March 13, at 7 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena , Washington D.C.
TV: NBCSW, NBA TV / Radio: 1500 AM
Wizards: John Wall (Out, Knee)
T-Wolves: Jimmy Butler (Out, Knee)
The Wizards will begin their first home-and-away back-to-back of the season, as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight.
Washington and Minnesota have split the season series in seven consecutive seasons, excluding the 2011-12 shortened season where only one game was played.
The home team is 12-4 since the 2009-10 season. The Wizards have won four of the last five meetings in DC.
107.2 – points per game
105.8 – points against
46.7 – Field goal %
109.7 – points per game
107.1 – points against
47.9 – field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Karl Anthony Towns: With Jimmy Butler going down with a knee injury in late February, KAT has stepped up to keep the Wolves ship from sinking. Towns is averaging 23.5 points and 13 rebounds on 64 percent shooting during this stretch which includes a 31 point, 16 rebound performance in a Wolves win over the defending world champions, Golden State Warriors on Sunday. Washington big’s have struggled in recent weeks chasing smaller front lines who tend to atack from the perimeter, in Towns, they will finally match-up with a big with size, however, he can get it done from inside and out, so the Wizards big’s will have to communicate and be physical on rotations. KAT is averaging 20.5 points and 12.2 rebounds on 54 percent shooting from the field, 41 percent deep and 85 percent from the line on the season. His versatility is difficult to deal with and it will take a team effort to contain him.
Andrew Wiggins: Wiggins has played a little bit below expectations, yet, he remains a threat that the Wizards will have to be accountable for especially with Butler out. He’s a multidimensional threat offensively at 6’8 and when engaged fully, is one of the top defenders in the league. While Wiggins is averaging 17.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and a steal per game on 44 percent shooting on the season, the Wizards had success against him in an early season match-up in late November. Washington held Wiggins to 5-15 shooting and won a close contest 92-89 with both Otto Porter Jr (22 points, 8 rebounds) and Kelly Oubre Jr (16 points, 4 rebounds) taking turns on containing Wiggins. Against the world champs in a head to head battle with all star Klay Thompson, Wiggins got the edge over Thompson, posting 23 points (9-16 FG), 5 rebounds and 3 assist while holding Thompson to 8-22 shooting in a Wolves win. While the focus is on Towns, not giving Wiggins maximum attention, remember, Last season Wiggins exploded for 41 points against the Wizards here in DC. If I haven’t forgotten, I’m sure all parties involved haven’t forgotten
Minnesota’s defense: Washington if they move the ball and cut down on turnovers, something that has plagued them of late, can have great success scoring against the Wolves. Minnesota is ranked 26th in the NBA in defensive rating (111.0) allowing 107.1 points a game. Minnesota are also one of the worst rebounding teams (42 rpg) in the league which allows teams to run out in transition on them. If Washington limits turnovers and control the boards, a much needed win is definitely within reach.