Battle of the cold places: A Bucks – Timberwolves Preview

Nate Wolters regroups (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Nate Wolters regroups (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

What to Watch For: Bucks

Nate Wolters returns home. He got to play in South Dakota in the preseason where Larry Drew gave him a surprise start in the state where he went to college. The Bucks beat the Timberwolves, 98-89, and Wolters had a mini-outburst with 10 points. But this game is a bit different because it’s the regular season and because South Dakota was a second home for Wolters whereas Minnesota is his home home.

Wolters should be fresh. In the nine games prior to the Ramon Sessions trade, Wolters averaged 31.4 minutes per game. In the nine games since the trade, his minutes have dropped to 20.4.

The Bucks as a whole soon may not be as fresh. This game is the second half of a rare Monday-Tuesday back-t0-back, and it kicks off a stretch where the Bucks play 7 out of 8 games on the road (including a four-game West Coast trip) over a two-week span.

What to Watch For: Timberwolves

Pat Garofalo, a state representative from Minnesota, tweeted this asinine and mostly racist thing Sunday night:

He apologized, but still. Asinine.

Kevin Love poked back at Tyson Chandler’s claim that Love doesn’t play defense.

In non-soap-opera-y news, the Timberwolves are the rare NBA team that scores well (108.8 points per 100 possessions, 9th in NBA) despite not being particularly proficient at three-pointers (33.9%, 26th in NBA).


Time – 7:00 p.m. CST

TV – Fox Sports Wisconsin

Radio – 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

Bucks: Ekpe Udoh (right knee swelling, questionable), Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out), Larry Sanders (face surgery; out)

Timberwolves: Ronny Turiaf (knee bruise; out), A.J. Price (appendectomy; out)

Projected Lineups


PG Nate Wolters

SG Brandon Knight

SF Khris Middleton

PF Ersan Ilyasova

Zaza Pachulia


PG Ricky Rubio

SG Kevin Martin

SF Corey Brewer

PF Kevin Love

Nikola Pekovic

Choose the form of the Destroyer: Chase Budinger

(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Budinger missed the start of the season with a knee injury. The Timberwolves went 17-17 in his absence, and they’re 14-14 since he came back. So maybe he’s not a difference maker. He is, however, the type of offensive small forward that has given the newest iteration of the Bucks fits. So maybe he is a difference maker for this one game.

If that makes any sense.

Prediction: Timberwolves 108 – Bucks 101

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  1. As a Bucks fan who lives in Minnesota, this one is personal. However, I don’t sense a win and the ever so difficult back to back wins will escape the Bucks yet again. 118-93 in favor of the Timberpups.

  2. Give me the following starting lineup tonight as well as going forward:

    PG: Brandon Knight
    SG: Khris Middleton
    SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
    PF: John Henson
    C: Miroslav Raduljica

    …and with a game minute distribution like such (or as best as possible):

    1st Quarter:

    PG: B.Knight (10), N.Wolters (2)
    SG: K.Middleton (6), N.Wolters (4), T.Mitchell (2)
    SF: G.Antetokounmpo (6), K.Middleton (2), T.Mitchell (2), G.Antetokounmpo (2)
    PF: J.Henson (8), E.Ilyasova (4)
    C: M.Raduljica (6), J.Adrien (6)

    2nd Quarter:

    PG: R.Sessions (4), B.Knight (8)
    SG: OJ.Mayo (6), K.Middleton (2), N.Wolters (4)
    SF: G.Antetokounmpo (8), K.Middleton (4)
    PF: E.Ilyasova (8), J.Henson (4)
    C: M.Raduljica (4), E.Udoh/J.Henson (4), J.Adrien (4)

    3rd Quarter:

    PG: B.Knight (8), N.Wolters (2), R.Sessions (2)
    SG: K.Middleton (6), OJ.Mayo (4), N.Wolters (2)
    SF: G.Antetokounmpo (6), K.Middleton (4), G.Antetokounmpo (2)
    PF: J.Henson (8), E.Ilyasova (4)
    C: M.Raduljica (6), J.Adrien (6)

    4th Quarter:

    PG: R.Sessions (2), N.Wolters (2), B.Knight (8)
    SG: N.Wolters (2), OJ.Mayo (4), K.Middleton (6)
    SF: T.Mitchell (4), K.Middleton (2), G.Antetokounmpo (6)
    PF: E.Ilyasova (4), J.Henson (8)
    C: E.Udoh/Z.Pachulia (4), J.Adrien (4-8), M.Raduljica (0-4)

    …which gives the players a personal minute breakdown like this:

    Brandon Knight: 34 minutes (34@PG)

    Nate Wolters: 18 minutes (6@PG, 12@SG)

    Ramon Sessions: 8 minutes (8@PG)

    Kris Middleton: 32 minutes (20@SG, 12@SF)

    OJ Mayo: 14 minutes (14@SG)

    Tony Mitchell: 8 minutes (2@SG, 6@SF)

    Giannis Antetokounmpo: 30 minutes (30@SF)

    John Henson: 28-32 minutes (28@PF, 0-4@C)

    Ersan Ilyasova: 20 minutes (20@PF)

    Miroslav Raduljica: 16-20 minutes (16-20@C)

    Jeff Adrien: 20-24 minutes (20-24@C)

    E.Udoh: 0-8 minutes (0-8@C)

    Zaza Pachulia: 0-4 minutes (0-4@C)