The Week Ahead | Busy Week With Four Games

Monday
Wolves at Jazz, 8:00 p.m.
FS North, 830 WCCO

Why you should watch:

The Wolves are hoping to snap a two-game losing streak against a Rudy Gobert-less Jazz. Utah will be looking for revenge after the Wolves beat the Jazz by just three points in Minnesota’s home opener. It’s an important game for both teams with the Wolves sitting at 7-5, tied for fifth in the West, while Utah is 6-7, ninth in the West.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

Ricky Rubio. The former Wolves point guard of six seasons is in his first year in Utah. His numbers so far are . . . weird? He’s averaging a career-high 14.5 points, but a career-low 5.8 assists per game and a career-high 3.9 turnovers per game. You know leave nothing out there as he looks for revenge against his former squad.

Wednesday
Wolves vs. Spurs, 7:00 p.m.
FS North, 830 WCCO

Why you should attend:

It’s the Wolves first home game since beating the Hornets on Nov. 5. The Wolves will hope to even up the season series on San Antonio after the Spurs beat the Wolves by eight in the season opener. The Spurs open the week with an 8-5 record, tied for third in the West.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

I think we’ve all come to terms that the Spurs are going to have another really good point guard in the future with second-year player Dejounte Murray. Murray has started seven of 13 games and he’s averaging 8.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. The fact that Murray fell all the way to the Spurs is last year’s draft is very Spursy.

Friday
Wolves at Mavericks, 7:30 p.m.
FS North, 830 WCCO

Why you should watch:

The Mavericks aren’t the playoff team they used to be, but it’s a chance for Minnesota to flex a bit against a team hungry for wins. The Wolves took care of business earlier this year at the Target Center against Dallas. Now it’ll be time to head to American Airlines Center.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

Former Wolves point guard J.J. Barea is having a nice season for Dallas, averaging 11.9 points per game while shooting 38.2 percent from deep on 4.9 attempts per game. In his earlier game against the Wolves this season, Barea was one of the few bright points for Dallas, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists while shooting 5-for-9 from the field and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line.

Sunday
Wolves vs. Pistons, 6 p.m.
FS North, 830 WCCO

Why you should attend:

At the beginning of the season, if I told you I gave you tickets to a game against the No. 2 team in the East, you probably would have thought you were seeing Boston or Cleveland. Nope. It’s the 10-3 Pistons. Going into the week, they’ve won eight of their last nine games, including wins over the Wolves, Clippers and Warriors.

Opposing player I’ll be watching:

Center Andre Drummond has never shot above 41.8 percent from the free-throw line in his career. Last year, he shot 38.6 percent, thus making the free throw not very free. This season, Drummond is shooting 63.2 percent. That’s well below the league average, but for Drummond, it’s a huge difference and although he’s only shooting 4.4 free throws per game, that equals out to more than one free point per contest. It also allows Stan Van Gundy to play the big man late in games.

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