Who: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
When: 5:00 PM Central
Where: FedExForum in Memphis, TN
Where to watch: Listen locally to 92.9 ESPN
The Minnesota Timberwolves grabbed their first preseason win on Wednesday night, and will be well rested for tonight's match. The Timberwolves are young and hungry, just like last season, but have added some veteran experience to their team with additions like Kevin Garnett and Tayshaun Prince (former Grizzly). The player to watch for from Minnesota will be Andrew Wiggins, who is now entering his second year in the league. Last season he averaged 16.9 PPG during his rookie year. During Wednesday's win Minnesota stepped up their defense in the second half. In addition, the Timberwolves made 12 three pointers. In the Grizzlies' victory over the OKC Thunder Friday night, JaMychal Green led the Grizzlies with 18 points on 72.7% shooting.
Which bench players need to particularly step up their game tonight against the young and athletic Timberwolves?
With at least some of the Grizzlies' starters likely to sit out the game, players like Russ Smith and Jarnell Stokes should get more playing time, similar to Friday night's match. Players like Russ Smith and JaMychal Green had a great showing in the last game, while Stokes was 3-11 from the field, although he did have 10 rebounds. Ryan Hollins had a strong showing in the last game, and he'll be fighting to stay on the roster as the end of preseason is nearing. Brandan Wright, the replacement for Kosta Koufos, is averaging 6.8 points in the preseason. Both of these players will likely be pitted against Karl Anthony Towns, a rookie out of the University of Kentucky. With the absence of Beno Udrih, Russ Smith needs to continue to make a statement about why he deserves playing time this season at backup point guard. His quickness was on full display the last game, and he's proven his offensive skills during the Orlando Summer League and the preseason so far. Minnesota's point guard, Rick Rubio, is listed as probable for tonight's game after suffering a right quad injury. Sam Mitchell will be coaching for the Timberwolves in place of Flip Saunders due to his ongoing battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
The Memphis Grizzlies look to go 5-0 in preseason tonight. It may be preseason, but the young guys are playing to impress their coaches and the crowd. Tickets are still available starting at around $15. Come on down to FedExForum and support the Grizzlies!