By Dave Johnson
The Washington Wizards have escaped the winter weather in the D.C. area by going to Minnesota. There is snow on the ground here too, but the real focus for the Wizards is the continued progress of John Wall.
Head coach Randy Wittman considered Sunday’s win over Philadelphia a positive step for Wall. In today’s report Wittman also talks about the challenges Wall has faced.
Here is today’s
Coverage of the Wizards and Timberwolves begins at 7:45 on the Washington Wizards Radio Network.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are trying to survive. With Monday’s loss to Miami, the injury ravaged Timberwolves have lost six straight games and were 3-10 in the month of February.
J.J. Barea had a Flagrant-2 foul Monday night against Miami, which the league announced Tuesday was downgraded to a Flagrant-1 foul, meaning he won’t be suspended.
The top 3 scorers of the Timberwolves (Love, Pekovic, Kirilenko) will all be out for Wednesday’s game. The next leading scorer is Luke Ridnour at 13.9 PPG.
With all of the injuries the Timerwolves have suffered this season, they have had 15 different starting lineups. The Timberwolves are down to just 9 healthy players on their roster.
Nikola Pekovic did not play in the last two games with an abdominal strain and will sit out the next three as he recovers.
Andrei Kirilenko did not play in the last two games due to a strained left calf and is expected to miss the team's next three.
Kevin Love and Chase Budinger are out until at least the middle of the month. Malcolm Lee is out for the season with a knee injury, while Brandon Roy is still without a timetable for a return from his knee injury.
Still despite the injuries the Timberwolves are competitive at home. They are 13-15 at Target Center this season.
The last time:
Wizards vs. Timberwolves January 25
In a loss Wednesday in Utah the Washington Wizards looked like a team ready to go home at the end of five-game road trip. On Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves the Wizards looked like a team glad to be home in a 114-101 win at Verizon Center.
The Wizards led by as many as 23 points and with the comfortable margin of victory were able to manage player’s minutes. All 13 players that dressed played with six finishing in double figures scoring led by
Jordan Crawford off the bench with 19 points.
Start me up:
The Timberwolves never had a lead against the Wizards. The Wizards had strong starts to each quarter.
st quarter: Wizards made 7 of their first 8 shots.
nd quarter: Wizards made 7 of their first 8 shots.
rd quarter: Wizards made 5 of their first 6 shots.
th quarter: Wizards made 4 of their first 5 shots.
It was also
John Wall’s first start of the season. In twenty minutes
Wall scored 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting and had 9 assists. Since Wall returned from a stress injury to his left knee the Wizards have averaged 100.7 points per-game and 25 assists per game over the last eight games.
“I thought John Wall was ready after the road trip. We still have limited minutes with him, but I thought it was time. He has his legs under him a little, but he’s still not where he needs to be. I think another couple of weeks of conditioning to get his legs back, but I thought it was time to play with that unit. He hasn’t played a lot with those guys, but overall I think he did fine. He directed the offense very well and distributed a lot. It’s time for John to be back in the starting lineup; he’s the point guard of our team.”