The Los Angeles Lakers will meet once again with the young and inexperienced Timberwolves tonight in Minnesota. The Lakers will end their three game road trip and look to hopefully pick up an easy win tonight.
Projected starting line-ups for both teams:
Lakers – Timberwolves
PG Derek Fisher – Luke Ridnour
SG Kobe Bryant – Wesley Johnson
SF Ron Artest – Michael Beasley
PF Lamar Odom – Kevin Love
C Pau Gasol – Darko Milicic
The Timberwolves currently stand at 4-9 and are the worst team in the Northwest Division behind the Denver Nuggets. Minnesota edged out the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, winning by only two points. Michael Beasley is starting to prove he is a solid offensive option by scoring 25 or more points in the last five games. He has been finding his shot lately and is averaging an overall 49.8% from the field. On November 9th, the Timberwolves came close to snatching a victory in Los Angeles behind Kevin Love’s 23 point and 24 rebounds. Love currently stands as the league’s leading rebounder with 14.3 a game.
The Lakers dumped the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night with a 103-90 win. Los Angeles looks to extend their winning streak to three games in a row after losing two straight last week. Kobe Bryant has over 30 points in four of his last five games, and surprisingly shooting 23 or fewer shots in three of those five games. Pau Gasol is leading the league with 10 double-doubles this season.
For the Lakers to dominate against the young Wolves tonight, they must crash the boards, period. The last time these two teams met, Minnesota grabbed a total of 54 rebounds while L.A. only had 42. The Wolves came up with a total 26 offensive rebounds that game. Lamar Odom must challenge Kevin Love for boards. Matt Barnes is currently averaging a career high in rebounds with 5.8 a game. Hopefully he brings more hustle to the boards tonight and becomes that spark off the bench. Steve Blake looks to regain his form after a stomach virus in which he had to sit for a game earlier this week. If the Lakers carry the boards tonight, they are sure to have a much easier time dealing with this feisty Minnesota squad.
Injury report: Timberwolves
– Jonny Flynn (hip)
– Martell Webster (back)
Injury report Lakers
– Andrew Bynum (knee)
– Theo Ratliff (Knee)
Lakers @ Timberwolves
Target Center, Minnesota MN
Radio: 710/1330 AM ESPN