Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 Players to Watch
By Jay Knodell
The Dallas Mavericks host the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday. Here are three players to keep an eye on.
The Dallas Mavericks look to build on their overtime win over the Denver Nuggets when they host Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. Dallas is 2-0 against the young, but immensely talented Timberwolves, but both games have been competitive.
Dirk Nowitzki led the way for the Mavericks in their 93-87 victory on January 10th, scoring 29 points on 12-22 shooting. He didn’t play the second time around, but Chandler Parsons filled his shoes nicely with a 30-point outburst just 10 days later. The Mavs won that one, outscoring Minnesota 17-5 in overtime.
These are the types of games Dallas must win to not only make the playoffs, but avoid facing Golden State and San Antonio in the first round.
Here are three players to keep an eye on.
In two meetings with Minnesota this season, Chandler Parsons has averaged 22 points on 70% shooting from the field. Look for that to continue, as Parsons keeps riding this (mostly) hot streak he’s been on as of late. He scored 27 against Denver, helping the Mavericks mount two comebacks in the second half. Since the All-Star break Parsons has averaged 18 points on 54% shooting, 3.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds, a block, and a steal.
Like Parsons, Wiggins has also averaged 22 points per in the two meetings thus far. He hasn’t been quite as efficient as his small forward counterpart, but he’ll be a problem on Sunday. Wiggins, now in his second professional season, is blossoming into a star. He’s averaged 23 points on 47% shooting in February, helping Minnesota to a 5-5 record so far this month.
In this case, Zaza Pachulia might be a player you won’t be able to keep an eye on. But that’s kind of the point. He didn’t play at all in the second half of Dallas’ win over Denver, as Rick Carlisle opted to go small with Raymond Felton to start the third quarter. It’ll be interesting to see how Pachulia is used from this point on, especially if David Lee continues to play well. He’s already stolen minutes from every big man on the roster not named Dirk, and just finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds against Denver.
The game tips off at 6:00 pm ct.