Your scary item of the day ... the Timberwolves sit at 16-16 and your Nuggets are just a game better at 17-15. The Wolves are led by Kevin Love, 25.6 points per game and 14.2 rebounds per game, exciting rookie Ricky Rubio, 11.3 ppg and 8.5 assists per game, and Denver's old friend J.J. Barea, 10.4 ppg.
Denver: 17-15 (8-7 at home)
Streak: Lost 3
Minnesota: 16-16 (7-6 on the road)
Streak: Won 3
Denver: Danilo Gallinari (left ankle sprain) is out. Nene (left calf strain) is questionable. Rudy Fernandez (lower back strain) is day to day and didn't play vs. the Thunder.
Season Series: First meeting this season.
Opposition's Take: Canis Hoopus (preview is up!)
During this crazy February schedule, I was looking forward to two games. The first, occurred last night in Oklahoma City - it was the first game between the Thunder and Nuggets since Denver's playoff exit last season. Both teams got off to hot starts and I thought this game would be a great first test of Denver's true strength. Well, injuries and the Nuggets 3-10 mark since starting the season 14-5 dampened things a bit. But my excitement for this second game is still alive!
This will be the Nuggets' first real look at this rebuilt team from the cold cold state of Minnesota. Wolves coach Rick Adelman has his team playing an exciting, and perhaps soon to be, winning style of hoops. Since being 7-10, the Wolves have gone 9-6 and might be starting to figure out how to win with each other.
Their three game win streak includes W's against the Rockets (111-98) and a thriller last night on their home floor against the 76ers (92-91) ... if you like games that end with made free throws (Love went 2-2 with 0:01 seconds left from the charity stripe).
I'm excited to see the creative passing from Rubio, the rebounding ability of Love, and to see how No. 2 overall draft pick Derrick Williams is looking. The up-and-down style of the Wolves plays right into the Nuggets' hands and this could be a very high scoring game ... well, with both teams on the second of a back-to-back (thanks schedule makers) it could be a very sloppy game too.
Denver needs a win in a bad way and the Wolves would prove to be a quality win at the right time.
Kevin Love: He can do it all. He'll post up, shoot jumpers, and can hit shots out beyond the three-point arc as well. His rebounding could be a potential problem for the Nuggets and George Karl would be wise to fight Love with some height or bounce ... Mr. Bounce himself Kenneth Faried.
Nikola Pekovic: The 6'11'' and 290 pound 26 year-old out of Bijelo Polie, Montenegro has worked his way into the starting lineup and isn't disappointing. He didn't start getting regular minutes until the 11th game of the season and since then has recorded an impressive eight double-doubles this season and he's averaging 18.3 ppg and 10.5 rebounds per game in the month of February. He may resemble a goon from a mobster movie, but he has been in beast mode this month.
Darko Milicic: Enough said.
Anthony Randolph: The former 14th overall pick of the 2008 draft (by the Golden State Warriors) still can't find consistent minutes since moving to the Wolves from the Knicks (in the Melo trade). All his hype has been for naught.
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Who is Nikola Pekovic?
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The goon from the Mark Wahlberg movie Contraband.
The Wolves new starting center with 8 double-doubles this season who is averaging 18 & 10 in Feb.