Knicks @ Wolves Gameday

Scouting Report

Jonah Ballow


Knicks vs. Wolves 8:00 PM
Where to Watch: MSG
Where to Listen: ESPN 1050 AM

Big Picture

A Cinderella story is quickly developing in New York City and quite frankly it’s reverberating across the entire country. Jeremy Lin is ascending to new heights, especially with his conquest against the Lakers last night. The undrafted, second-year point guard won the late game duel on the opposite side of Kobe Bryant while recording a career-high 38 points in the process. With New York’s fourth straight victory, team chemistry is sky-high and imaginations are running wild at the potential for the team when Amar’e Stoudemire returns on Monday and Carmelo Anthony recovers from a strained groin.

As the New York fans marvel at the point guard play in their city, the same could be said for Wolves Nation. Rookie Ricky Rubio finally arrived in the Twin Cities after the team used the No. 5 overall pick on him in 2009. The Spanish Sensation has sparked the Minnesota franchise along with fellow first-year man Derrick Williams. The Wolves also acquired former Mavericks guard JJ Barea and center Brad Miller this offseason. However, arguably the best addition to the team is the veteran head coach now stalking the sidelines at Target Center, Rick Adelman. Once again, Adelman is working his rebuilding magic, the same type of fast turnarounds witnessed in Portland, Sacramento, and most recently in Houston. Behind All-Star and all-world rebounder Kevin Love, the Wolves have their sights set on the postseason with a 13-14 overall record.

Last Time Out
The Knicks defense limited the Lakers to just 37.5 percent shooting from the floor while toppling the West Coast foe 92-85 on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Wolves launched 23 three-point attempts but only connected on six in a 104-97 loss to the Mavericks on Friday.

The Numbers Game
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Lin has 89 points through his first three starts, the most points by any NBA player in his first three starts since the merger.

Match-up to Watch
Jeremy Lin vs. Ricky Rubio

Fans would be hard pressed to find a more intriguing point guard matchup this season. On one side, Lin has exploded onto the NBA scene with a legendary stretch of four games. His pick-and-roll proficiency helped the Knicks offense find rhythm during a dry spell. For the Wolves, Rubio is fulfilling all their dreams with his dazzling array of passes to go along with solid rookie averages of 10.9 points and 8.7 assists per game. Both players are masterful at their position and this specific battle could determine the outcome of Saturday’s contest.

What to Look For
Love has picked up where he left off last season with his second selection to the All-Star game in late February. Knicks fans will remember his unbelievable 31-31 historic night at Target Center just a year ago. That performance created stardom for Love and jumpstarted his career as arguably the best power forward in the entire league. New York’s frontcourt will have to maintain Love on the glass, which is no easy task considering Minnesota ranks No. 3 in rebounds per game.

Minnesota is a deep squad with five players averaging double figures and Barea at 9.8 points per game. Without Stoudemire and Anthony for another contest, the team theme will have to continue for the Knicks. If the New York frontline can duplicate its performance against Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol from last night, the road squad has a great opportunity to notch its fifth straight win.

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