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Game Preview: Timberwolves vs. Bucks
Friday, December 30, 2016 at 7 p.m at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
It will be a battle of the two young up-and-comers Friday night in Minneapolis, as Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Buck make their way to Target Center. The Bucks are coming off a 119-94 victory over the Pistons on Wednesday night. Jabari Parker scored a game-high 31 points while gathering nine rebounds, continuing his solid third season in the NBA.
The Wolves come off the heels of a close 105-103 road loss to the Nuggets Wednesday, as an Andrew Wiggins layup attempt and deep Zach laVine missed three-pointer couldn’t push the Wolves into overtime, or secure the last second win. Karl-Anthony Towns managed his first career triple double in the game though, scoring 15 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out a career-high 10 assists.
Minnesota currently stands 13th in the Western Conference rankings, boasting a 10-22 record, going 4-6 in their last 10 games. Milwaukee is 15-15 on the season, good enough for 7th in the Eastern Conference. It should be an exciting game, as these two teams are among the youngest in the league, both barely averaging over 26 years of age.
PG: Ricky Rubio #9
SG: Zach LaVine #8
SF: Andrew Wiggins #22
PF: Gorgui Dieng #5
C: Karl-Anthony Towns #32
PG: Matthew Dellavedova #8
SG: Tony Snell #21
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34
PF: Jabari Parker #12
C: John Hensen #31
Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic – out/season (recurring ankle pain)
Bucks: Khris Middleton – out (hamstring), Rashad Vaughn – out (ankle), Mirza Teletovic – questionable (concussion)
This will be the first time these two teams meet this season, as their last meeting took place back in March of the previous season. In the two meetups last season, the Bucks won both, sweeping the season series. The most recent meeting saw the Bucks prevail by score of 116-101 in Milwaukee.
Khris Middleton was hot, scoring 32 points in 34 total minutes played. The Greek Freak also had a very solid performance, chipping in 27 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds in an all-around effort.
For the Wolves, Karl-Anthony Towns led the way with 21 points and seven rebounds. Zach LaVine added 20 points of his own in the loss. Andrew Wiggins struggled the entire game, only managing to compile 10 points and two rebounds in 21 minutes played.
It should be a fun matchup between two of the NBA’s brightest (and freakishly athletic) young stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Giannis Antetokounmpo are set to battle. Towns is coming off a triple double performance, and will look to showcase his multifaceted skills more so tonight against a solid Bucks defense.
The Greek Freak should also have a solid game, as he is currently averaging 23.4 points, 9 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game while being the primary ball handler in the offense. Standing 6 feet 11 inches, he is a lot to handle for any player.
Towns enters averaging 22 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. While the Bucks are no slouch on the defensive side of the floor, look for the man they call KAT to do a lot of the heavy lifting down-low, as the Bucks feature many players with ridiculously long wingspans (John Henson, Greek Freak, Thon Maker) requiring a man of KAT’s size to be extra-needed for a win at home.
TV: Fox Sports North – Dave Benz (play-by-play), Jim Peterson (analyst)
Also on NBA TV
Radio: 830 WCCO-AM – Alan Horton (play-by-play)
(All stats found on nba.com, and basketball-reference.com)