Things You Already Know:
The T-Wolves have one of the worst records in the league, only recently surpassing double digits in wins. At 10-40, Minnesota has the worst record in the Western Conference by a landslide and is only one game up on Miami for worst record in the league honors.
However, few could say their sub par play was unexpected as Minnesota made what was then considered—the Lakers’ recent trade for Gasol may have changed some minds—one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history this summer, sending their superstar franchise player Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics in exchange for a package primarily built around rising youngster Al Jefferson and prospects. The result was a roster filled with inexperienced players and no clear-cut stars aside from Jefferson.
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With little help around him, it’s safe to say that Minnesota probably wouldn’t even have half of their 10 wins without Jefferson to keep them afloat. At over 21 points and 12 rebounds a game, Jefferson has shown the potential to become a perennial All-Star once he gets some talent around him. While he’s certainly no KG, he’s no slouch either.
Prior to a brief period of success in January, it looked like the T-Wolves were on a pace for an all-time record in futility. But, the youthful Minnesota roster finally showed some fortitude toward the end of last month, racking up impressive, if not shocking wins against Golden State and Phoenix—back-to-back games no less—and against New Jersey and Chicago. However, February has not been as kind to the Wolves as they’ve lost three of four games with their lone victory coming against the fellow Western Conference doormat Clippers.
Things You Need To Know:
As if Minnesota didn’t have enough on its plate gong up against the increasingly more formidable Lakers, they’ll be playing L.A. in the second game of a back-to-back after losing to the Nets in New Jersey on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the Lakers will be looking to tidy up an impressive road trip that has seen the Lakers win six of eight games so far. With a win Wednesday night, the Lakers would set an NBA record for most wins on a continuous road trip with seven—all coming while the team was forced to adjust to a monumental trade on the fly.
Even if the Lakers have been successful this season at defeating the teams they’re supposed to beat, Minnesota still poses a threat as evidenced by their victories against the conference leading Suns and playoff contending Warriors. Wednesday night’s affair is also the last game before the All-Star break so L.A. needs to be careful not to overlook the pesky T-Wolves.