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NBA Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic Returning to Form

Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves have enjoyed having part of their front court back as of late with center Nikola Pekovic returning to the lineup after an abdomen injury sidelined him for a while.

Pekovic has given the Wolves a much needed boost on the interior that was severely lacking without him. Backup big men Greg Stiemsma and Chris Johnson have been at least serviceable, but neither of them have the big body and overall strength that Pekovic possesses. At six feet eleven inches and nearly three hundred pounds, he is a tank in the paint.

Over the seven games that Pekovic has been back, he’s put up numbers similar to what the Wolves are used to receiving from him. Averaging nearly 15 points and nine rebounds while blocking a shot a game, Pekovic seems to be regaining his prior form.

Maybe the best part about Pekovic’s return is that he has been a very consistent scorer when he takes his opportunities. Shooting 55% since he’s been back, Pekovic has been red hot from the field. This is a great sign for Minnesota because they have been absolutely horrendous this season shooting the ball.

This is just one more piece of the puzzle back in place for the Wolves, and they are getting closer and closer to a fully healthy team. All that’s missing now is All Star forward Kevin Love. Once Love gets back in the lineup and starts to get comfortable on the floor again, Minnesota’s scoring ability drastically changes.

Tomorrow night, the Wolves play the Oklahoma City Thunder and Pekovic will surely be counted on to make some noise in the paint. The Thunder can put up quite a few points on any given night, and Minnesota will absolutely need Pekovic’s defense to be at its best, as well as his interior scoring ability.

Ryan Heckman is a Minnesota Timberwolves writer and NBA contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google