Dallas At Minnesota
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Friday, February 24, 2017
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Two teams that consider themselves in the hunt for the final Western Conference playoff spot square off when the Dallas Mavericks visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. There are six teams vying for that final spot and the pressure is on teams like the Mavericks and Timberwolves after the New Orleans Pelicans bolstered their hopes by acquiring All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings.
Dallas dropped four of its last six games prior to the All-Star break, a stretch seen as critical per whether the Mavericks moved some veterans prior to the trading deadline. Dallas was active on Thursday and shipped center Andrew Bogut, swingman Justin Anderson and a first-round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for forward/center Nerlens Noel. Minnesota was mentioned as a possible landing spot for New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose but coach Tom Thibodeau swatted away the speculation. "Every team is talking to every team this time of year," Thibodeau told reporters. "If there's something that makes sense that can make you better, then you take a look at it. If not, I'm happy with the team we have. I like the guys we have. I like the approach we have."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), FSN North (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (22-34): Dallas was shopping point guard Deron Williams due to the fact injured J.J. Barea is close to returning and recent addition Yogi Ferrell has played well. Ferrell is averaging 14.2 points and 4.7 assists and knocked down 22 3-pointers in 10 games since joining the Mavericks. The Utah Jazz showed interest in Williams -- an interesting tidbit because Williams played his first 5 1/2 seasons with the Jazz before being dealt to the Nets in 2011 -- but a deal wasn't consummated and Dallas ended up waiving Williams.
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (22-35): Minnesota reportedly was shopping point guard Ricky Rubio to open up playing time for rookie Kris Dunn so the rumors about Rose were difficult to assess. Thibodeau coached Rose with the Chicago Bulls before Rose's skills began to decline so he knows him well but he also asserts the franchise is building around its youngsters and he doesn't feel he needs to explain any speculation. "Come in every day, do your job. That's a part of building the habit," Thibodeau said. "If you want you can find an excuse every night in this league. There's always something. You block all that stuff out, just lock into what's in front of you."
1. The Mavericks won eight of the past nine matchups after splitting two meetings earlier this season.
2. Minnesota SF Andrew Wiggins scored 40 or more in each of the past two games and is averaging 27.7 points over his last 15 contests, topping 20 in each game.
3. Barea (calf) returned to practice after missing 13 games and will sit out at least three more before returning.
PREDICTION: Timberwolves 105, Mavericks 100
Stats and Records
Minnesota Off vs
104.8 Points For
100.4 Points Against