Why does Friday’s game against the Lakers feel like the biggest Wolves game so far this year?

Kobe Bryant and the Lakers are in Minneapolis to take on a red-hot Kevin Love and the Timberwolves Friday night.  The Wolves are streaking right now, winners of 8 of 11 and 5 straight at home.  Meanwhile, the Lakers have dropped 2 straight on their current road-trip including an embarrassing loss at lowly Washington.  Chances are, the Lakers will come into this game on a mission.  They do not want to lose three in a row.  They still have Kobe Bryant and are still a legitimate Championship caliber team.

Coach Rick Adelman Expects A Strong Laker Effort

Rookie Ricky Rubio Says Lakers Are A Dangerous Team

Kobe Bryant Talks About Making A Trade, Winning A Championship and What They Need To Do To Win

Speaking of streaks, the Lakers haven’t lost to Minnesota since Ricky Davis and Kevin Garnett led the Wolves to a victory in 2007. That’s 17 losses in a row to the Lakers. The Wolves have broken a number of losing streaks so far in this resurgent season and Friday is another golden opportunity to do it again.

Coach Rick Adelman Talks About the 17 Game Losing Streak Against L.A.

Rookie Derrick Williams on Lakers Winning Streak

As things stand today, the Wolves are on the brink of the playoffs.  They’re tied for 8th place in the Western Conference with a tie-breaker over Houston (winning 3 of 4 against the Rockets this season).  It’s way too early to talk playoffs but it’s a thrill to even consider that the Wolves are in the hunt.  (Click here for the latest NBA Standings…it’s very weird to see the little “8” next to Minnesota)

Derrick Williams Talks About Moving Up In The Standings

Kevin Love On Being In The Hunt

There’s another Wolf in the hunt.  Kevin Love.  The driving force behind the Wolves winning is their All-Star Power Forward.  Here comes the MVP talk.  No longer are people saying Love is the best Power Forward in the league, they’re saying he’s a legitimate MVP candidate and one of the best players in the league.  High praise comes with winning and, of course, being the team’s closer.

On the injury front, Nikola Pekovic should be back in the lineup after missing Wednesday’s game against Portland with a sore foot.  They’ll need him against the huge Laker frontcourt of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.  Those two have combined for 77 points and 38 rebounds in the two games so far this season.  Pekovic will need a big game and help from Darko Milicic who has played well the last two games.

Nikola Pekovic Talks About The Lakers

J.J. Barea, however, will be out.  He sprained his ankle in the 4th quarter of Wednesday’s game, another frustrating injury for the Wolves guard who has battled nagging injuries since day one.  There’s no timetable yet for his return and the Wolves are going to call rookie guard Malcolm Lee up from the D-League for added depth.  Lee has yet to play in the regular season and only would be used in an emergency.

J.J. Barea Talks About The Ankle Injury

The Timberwolves are expecting a “White Out” for Friday’s game.  The team is asking fans to show up wearing a white T-Shirt and are also providing 20,000 shirts for fans.  Friday’s game is sold out.

Derrick Williams on “White Out”

You can listen to the Wolves and Lakers on WCCO Radio Friday night!  Mike Max will have Timberwolves Tip-Off at 6:00 with gametime at 7:00PM.

The Wolves do wrap up the homestand Saturday night against New Orleans.  Eric Nelson has Timberwolves Tip-Off live from Target Center staring at 6:00, gametime at 7:00 and there’s no TV Saturday.  Only place to get Wolves basketball is at Target Center or on News Radio 830 WCCO!


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