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Game Preview: Timberwolves vs. Bulls
Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 2:30 p.m at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Timberwolves come into this rare mid-day game fresh off a rough 122-106 loss to the visiting New Orleans Pelicans, as they allowed Anthony Davis to go off for 42 points and 13 rebounds. The Wolves played a solid first quarter, as they led 40-28. Then the second quarter came around, and New Orleans outscored Minnesota 33-25. It was all downhill from there. A bright spot in the loss was the play of Karl-Anthony Towns. He ended with 36 points and eight boards. Andrew Wiggins also added 29 points of his own.
The Chicago Bulls are equally disappointing as of late, having recently lost to the Phoenix Suns 115-97. Chicago is 26-28 on the year, and 5-5 of their last 10 games. While the Bulls are a public mess personnel wise, they still have talent the Wolves need to pay attention to, including future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, and star wing Jimmy Butler.
PG: Ricky Rubio #9
SG: Brandon Rush #4
SF: Andrew Wiggins #22
PF: Gorgui Dieng #5
C: Karl-Anthony Towns #32
PG: Jerian Grant #2
SG: Jimmy Butler #21
SF: Dwyane Wade #3
PF: Taj Gibson #22
C: Robin Lopez #8
Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic – out/season (recurring ankle pain), Zach LaVine – out/season – (Torn left ACL), Adreian Payne – out (illness), Kris Dunn – probable (hand)
Bulls: Jimmy Butler – questionable (heel), Dwyane Wade – probable (wrist), Paul Zipser – doubtful (ankle)
The Bulls and Wolves last met back on December 13, 2016 in Chicago at the United Center. It was a gritty win for Minnesota, coming back from 21 points down to secure the 99-94 victory in Tom Thibodeau’s Chicago return. Zach LaVine scored a team-high 24 points, while shooting 55.6% from the field. Andrew Wiggins had a solid outing, netting 23 points and nine rebounds in the win.
For the Bulls, it was Jimmy Butler leading the way, as he scored a game-high 27 points, while adding nine boards and six assists. Dwyane Wade did not have his best game of the season, only managing 12 points while shooting just 30.8% from the floor in 32 minutes.
Jimmy Butler is listed as questionable for the game with heel issues. If he is out, the Timberwolves (should) have no issue taking down Chicago for the much-needed win at home. Butler is by far the Bulls’ best all-around player, and is usually tasked with guarding the opposing team’s best wing player, which in this case is Andrew Wiggins. If Butler is indeed sidelined, look for Wiggins to post his usual 20+ point night with ease.
TV: Fox Sports North – Dave Benz (play-by-play), Jim Peterson (analyst)
Radio: 830 WCCO-AM – Alan Horton (play-by-play)
(All stats found on nba.com, and basketball-reference.com)