The Dallas Mavericks are 2-3 in their last five games, as they continue to barrel through one of their toughest stretches of the season. Wednesday they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves, who will be playing the second night of a back to back after losing to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. Can Dallas keep their arrow pointing upward following a hard-fought win against Boston?
What has Minnesota done recently?
A blowout win against Phoenix ended a nine game losing streak for Minnesota, who have fallen to 13-29 after shockingly being at .500 after Thanksgiving. For a team with so many young pieces (led of course by the pair of number one overall picks, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns), wins were always going to take a backseat to player development. Still, as ugly as the win-loss record is, they've played teams tough, with close losses to San Antonio, Houston, OKC and...
What happened the last time the two teams played?
Way back on January 10th Dallas beat Minnesota 93-87. Dirk led all players with 29 points, and converted a big three-point play late in the game to stifle his less experienced opponents' comeback bid. That's starting to sound a bit familiar, hmmm. The Mavs' starting backcourt combined to shoot 3-for-18, and will hopefully bounce back Wednesday. Karl-Anthony Towns got into some early foul trouble that ended up limiting him to 25 minutes played, but Towns has been stellar in his rookie season and is capable of big games.
What stat might surprise you about Minnesota?
The Timberwolves lead the league in free throws made per game. They get there a lot, but most importantly, they make them, shooting 79.3 percent. Andrew Wiggins is their most prolific foul-drawer, using his length and terrifying athleticism to contort his way into the lane, where he's much more comfortable than out on the perimeter. Aside from him, Minnesota has six players who shoot at least 83 percente or better from the line, most impressively including their two primary bigs in the aforementioned Towns and center Gorgui Dieng. When Minneosta finds success on offense it usually comes from a heavy helping of free throws.
How to watch
7:30 p.m. Central on Fox Sports Southwest, or on NBA League Pass for those out of region. Enjoy!