When you compare the Milwaukee Bucks to the Minnesota Timberwolves, there’s one common denominator that vibrantly stands out. Youth.
The Wolves landed yet another first overall pick (yes, they got Wiggins in the Love trade, but he was still the number one overall pick) when they selected Karl-Anthony Towns out of Kentucky. Towns has been all the Minnesota imagined and more. The rookie big man is almost averaging a double double this season at16.4 points per game while corralling in 9.4 rebounds. The matchup between he and Monroe down low will be something to keep your eye on.
Paired with that youth is the player we hinted on in the paragraph above, Andrew Wiggins. An explosive body of talent, Wiggins headlines the skilled Minnesota starting five. He is averaging 20.6 points per game. Once again, we will be able to see the matchup of the no. 1 and no. 2 overall picks in the 2014 Draft go head-to-head in Parker and Wiggins. We were shafted of the second meeting last season after Parker went down with his ACL injury.
Switching over to the Bucks now, you have to start with Khris Middleton. He has been absolutely electric in the last couple games. He followed up his career-high 36 points in Oklahoma City with another scoring outburst in Indiana that help propelled Milwaukee to a win with his 33 points. Middleton finally seems to be coming around regarding his scoring, and it is being heavily noted. In his last ten games, Middleton is averaging 20.5 points on exactly 50 percent shooting. The Bucks would appreciate another strong performance from Middleton, as he can provide a spark both from the perimeter and transition.
A key the Bucks can take in defeating the Timberwolves is sending out a guy on the perimeter to protect any shots from deep from Minnesota. Not that they have the spot up shooters that can pose a threat, but rather the exact opposite. In the last ten games, the Wolves have exhibited the worst three-point percentage in the NBA at 29.8 percent. Similar to the Bucks, one of Minnesota’s toughest predicaments on the offensive side of the ball is spacing and ability to get a shot off. By forcing them to play the majority of their game from inside the perimeter, Milwaukee can shift the Minnesota offense into a one-dimensional spectrum and have a feast on the defensive side of things.
Although their record may say otherwise, Bucks fans can be proud with how the Bucks have played on this road trip. They were able to avoid disastrous results in both Dallas and Oklahoma City, two of the most difficult atmospheres in the Western Conference. In fact, they almost pulled off victories in those two games. As we said, Khris Middleton is finding his groove, helping the Bucks pull out a huge victory in Indiana. After their train wreck of a showing so far on the road this season, it’s comforting knowing the Bucks have the opportunity to finish the trip with a .500 record.