The Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t the only banged up team in the NBA at the moment. Tonight they face a Boston Celtics team who has been without forward Kevin Garnett for the past five games. The loss of Garnett has contributed to the Celtics losing six of their last eight games.
While the Celtics are trying to establish better playoff seeding in the Eastern Conference, the Wolves meanwhile are still just searching for an identify. Having played several games this year without key players, it has been a struggle to create any type of consistency on the year.
Tonight, Minnesota could be without center Nikola Pekovic once again after he sat out against the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday night with a sprained ankle. He is questionable for the contest tonight at home, but more than likely will be sat in order to get to gain full health. At this point, the Wolves can’t afford to risk the health of their most important players now that the playoffs are far out of reach.
Pekovic’s loss is a tough one, especially because over his last three games he had averaged over 19 points and 14 rebounds per game. He had begun to look like the guy Minnesota thought they would have healthy all season long at the start of the year, making it known that the opposition would have to deal with his near 300 pound tank of a body when entering the post.
The Wolves will have to depend on the play of star point guard Ricky Rubio yet again, as they continue to also play without forward Kevin Love. Rubio has been spectacular over the last month or so, pouring in double-doubles typically once a week and stealing the ball at a high rate. For Minnesota to have a chance at beating even a beat up Celtics squad, Rubio will have to be on his best and his teammates – God willing – are going to have to knock down open shots created from their leader.
With the Celtics coming to town, there is always a big crowd because of the fan favorite Garnett being traded to Boston in 2007. Though he is out tonight again, I’m sure the fans will turn out to see their Wolves try and add to Boston’s current struggles.