Preview: Bucks vs. Wolves

The Wolves (6-8) take on the Milwaukee Bucks (7-6) tonight at 7:00 PM CST at Target Center.

Milwaukee started 6-2, and leads the Central Division. But the Bucks  are fading, having lost four of its last five game. Having gone 1-6 in their last 7, the Wolves are a half game out of the cellar.

(In case you didn’t know, the West is way better than the East.)

Injuries are again the key story.

AK47 won’t play because of his back spasms. And Kevin Love is currently listed as questionable, as he’s experiencing some kind of illness. The Wolves are just 1-4 since Love returned to the lineup, but losing him would hurt – especially with Kirilenko out, as AK has played best when Love has been out of the lineup. K-Love will be a gametime decision for the contest.

What does this mean? If Love and Kirilenko are both out, you may be looking at a starting unit of

C – Nikola Pekovic
PF – Dante Cunningham
SF – Josh Howard
SG – Malcolm Lee
PG – Luke Ridnour

That isn’t a very good starting five. Only one of those guys is a starter on a healthy Wolves team. Hopefully Adelman plays Shved 30+ minutes again, as he did Wednesday against the Clippers.

The big issue is backcourt play: neither Luke nor JJ can guard Brandon Jennings, and as solid a defender as Lee is, he’s likely to struggle with Monta Ellis. So is Shved.

The Wolves only comparative advantage tonight may be Pekovic. Let’s hope they can find a way to feed him enough to get him 20+ shots and that he scores more than 25 points. Short of that, the Wolves’ lesser-known supporting cast will have to play significantly better than usual if the Wolves are to have a decent shot at winning.

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