Minnesota Timberwolves Are a Tough Matchup for New York Knicks

By A.J. Speier
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks will enter Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, hoping to get back to their winning ways.

Following a 110-106 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, the Knicks have a 1-2 record in their last three games after beginning the season with an Eastern Conference-best 18-5 record.

While the Knicks looked impressive in their 100-86 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night, the Houston Rockets and Bulls were able to limit the Knicks pick-and-roll offensive scheme with their frontcourt depth. The Rockets relied on Omer Asik and the Bulls relied on Joakim Noah.

The Timberwolves present a similar problem with Kevin Love, who is averaging 19.6 points and 13.9 rebounds per game.

With Tyson Chandler currently operating as the roll man in the Knicks’ pick-and-roll offense, Love could be handed the assignment of guarding Chandler, who is the league’s best field goal shooter at 70.5 percent.

However, Love is listed as a power forward, so his job might be focused more on stopping Carmelo Anthony, who is the NBA’s second-leading scorer with an average of 28 points.

At 13-11, the Timberwolves don’t appear as much of a threat to the Knicks, but they have won seven of their last ten games and are coming off of a 99-93 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have the NBA’s best record at 21-5.

While Love is the Timberwolves’ leading scorer, the rest of their offense has come from a balanced attack. Nikola Pekovic is the second-leading scorer, averaging 16 points and Andrei Kirilenko is third with 13.7 points.

The Knicks don’t have much frontcourt depth right now with Amar’e Stoudemire, Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby currently out with injuries, so it’ll be interesting to see how the foul-prone Chandler and Anthony do against the Timberwolves.

Follow A.J. Speier on Twitter @Ajbisons for articles, news, and all things NBA

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