Boston: 102.7 points/100 possessions (24th)
Minnesota: 102.6 points/100 possessions (26th)
Boston: 102.9 points allowed/100 possessions (7th)
Minnesota: 105.4 points allowed/100 possessions (13th)
Probable T’Wolves starters: Ricky Rubio (PG), Luke Ridnour (SG), Andrei Kirilenko (SF), Derrick Williams(PF), Nikola Pekovic(questionable with ankle injury) /Greg Stiemsma (C)
View from the Opposing Bench: A Wolf Among Wolves
Thumbnail: A shorthanded Wolves squad hosting an even more shorthanded Celtics’ team? That’s what will likely be on the docket tonight, with Doc Rivers strongly hinting towards resting Paul Pierce after the small forward turned his right ankle last night. With Kevin Garnett still on the shelf, the C’s may be done to nine healthy players to face off with the Timberwolves Monday night. So do they have a chance against the undermanned Wolves on the road?
The answer is yes, but that chance is not a great one. A lot of it hinges on whether Pekovic plays for the Wolves. He has a sprained ankle and is questionable for tonight. If he can’t go, the Celtics may be able to hold their own on the glass. If he does play, they should be destroyed in that department without their two best rebounders in KG and Pierce. In other news, Ricky Rubio is finally putting it together and playing well this season, scoring 12 or more points in seven straight games, so Avery Bradley will need to slow him for the C’s to have a chance.
Despite being an underachieving team, Minnesota has blown out San Antonio and beaten OKC handily at home in the past month, so this game is by no means a walkover even if the C’s were at full strength. The new guys (Crawford, Randolph, Williams) will all need to show up for the C’s to have any chance without Pierce. I’m not counting on it, after an uninspired defensive performance last night.
Prediction: No Pierce, no Garnett = no win. Wolves 99, Celtics 90