Having won 10 of their 13 games in January after suffering a 13-game losing streak in December, the Minnesota Timberwolves are eager to test their mettle against the team they consider among the elite few in the league.
“They’ve got Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, great shooters and a great bench,” said Wolves guard Randy Foye after Friday’s shootaround. “But we’re just trying to stay consistent. No matter who we’re playing against, the Lakers or Boston, we believe we can win.”
The culture change in Minnesota since Kevin McHale took over as head coach is what Foye and many of his teammates credit more than anything else for the team’s turnaround.
“Kevin McHale’s a great coach, a great guy, a player’s type of coach,” Foye explained. “He played in the league and he knows what players want to hear and what they don’t want to hear.”
Foye’s recent improved play has been another reason the Wolves have been chalking up wins, but things might not come as easy on this night as he’ll have to deal with an angry Kobe Bryant after the MVP fouled out in the first overtime of L.A.’s Tuesday evening loss.
For a complete breakdown of what the Lakers can expect to see from the Wolves Friday night in icy Minnesota, we spoke with Wolves TV analyst Jim Petersen. Just click on the “Lakers.com Preview” in our gameday page:
Tipoff’s at 5 p.m. Pacific time, before the Lakers head to Memphis for the tail end of a back-to-back on Saturday evening.