The 12-13 Washington Wizards have won their last three games and are looking to break even tonight in Minnesota. A victory over Kevin Love and the 13-15 Minnesota Timberwolves would return Washington to .500 ball, a feat the Wizards accomplished earlier this month in a dominating win over the visiting Orlando Magic. Love, and the T-wolves, won't likely go as quietly.
Love is averaging 25.9 points and 13.9 rebounds this season after 27 games, while connecting on 38.1% of his looks from beyond the three-point arc. The 6-10 forward-center makes you pay inside and out. Regardless of his excellent play--like the 45 points he dropped on the Los Angeles Clippers last Sunday in an OT loss--the T-wolves have struggled to make the most of their opportunities.
Minnesota will enter Friday's game in 8th place for "worst shooting percentage" in the league, with a league-worst 32% from 5-9 feet from the basket (the Miami Heat are a league-best with 69.7%). Not a lot between the basket and three-point arc goes in for the T-wolves; Love's super star ratings will continue as his team continues to struggle.
The T-wolves also give up a lot of points in the paint. Washington doesn't have a real bruiser inside to exploit that flaw, but as long as Nene continues to play through the pain (foot tendinitis)--and John Wall continues to feed Marcin Gortat off the pick n' roll--the Wizards should be off to the races.
Tonight's game will air at 8:00 p.m. ET on CSN and NBATV.
Al Harrington is out indefinitely after knee surgery and Glen Rice, Jr. is sidelined with a fractured right wrist. Former Wizards big Ronny Turiaf (radial head fracture) will join Chase Budinger (left knee) on Minnesota's "indefinite" list.