Minnesota Timberwolves' Chase Budinger, right, drives past San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan, center, to score during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in San Antonio.
Eric Gay, Associated Press - Ap
Wolves' schedule lightens this week; time for a win streak?
- January 15, 2014 - 12:48 AM
Here’s something a Wolves team that has danced with .500 for weeks really needs: a stretch against weaker opponents.
Of course, the coach isn’t offering that to his up-and-down team.
In his inimitable style, Rick Adelman focused on the potential pitfalls rather than the positives. Adelman was talking about how his team, which has won three games in a row only once this season, needed to get on a winning streak. It was suggested the team’s upcoming four games, which includes three games against two teams with the worst records in the Western Conference, might be a start.
“Two of the teams we play coming up, Sacramento and Utah, in record aren’t good, but they’re much better teams than they were at the start of the season,” he said. “Sacramento won by 40 [Sunday over Cleveland] at home. So I don’t look at it that way.”
Still, the table seems set for a Wolves run. Here’s a look at their next four games:
Wednesday vs. Sacramento
Good news: Sacramento has only 13 wins, tied for worst in the West, and has won only four times on the road, second fewest in the league behind Cleveland and Orlando.
Bad news: Since the Rudy Gay trade in early December gave the Kings a legitimate third scorer, he, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas have combined for 65.9 points per game. Sacramento had won a season-high three games in a row before losing 116-92 at Indiana on Tuesday.
Friday at Toronto
Good news: Toronto has won three in a row, but it was against Milwaukee, Brooklyn and Detroit. The Raptors have a winning record, but they reside in the inferior Eastern Conference. They are 5-7 vs. West teams.
Bad news: Coach Dwane Casey has his team on a roll, having gone 11-4 since Gay was traded. They are one of four teams in the East with a winning record. The Wolves have lost nine in a row at Toronto and 16 of the past 17 meetings overall.
vs. Utah (Saturday) at Utah (Tuesday)
Good news: The Jazz is tied with Sacramento for worst in the West with 13 victories. The Jazz is 5-15 on the road, 8-11 at home.
Bad news: The Jazz is 6-4 in its past 10, and that includes victories over Denver and Oklahoma City. Rookie Trey Burke — drafted by the Wolves and immediately traded to the Jazz — is emerging, averaging nearly 15 points per game in his past 10.
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