Trail Blazers-Timberwolves Preview
All-Star snub LaMarcus Aldridge has been on an incredible tear
for the Portland Trail Blazers over this past week.
He has put up similar gaudy numbers against the Minnesota
Timberwolves this entire season.
Aldridge looks to lead the Trail Blazers to a 16th straight win
over the Timberwolves when they meet at the Target Center on Monday
Portland (30-24) won its fourth straight Sunday, 105-100 over
Detroit, behind Aldridge’s 36 points – his lowest scoring total in
the last three games.
Aldridge had a career-best 42 points in last Monday’s 109-103
win over Chicago and 37 in Friday’s 102-96 victory over Toronto. He
has recorded four of his six highest-scoring games of the season in
the last two weeks.
Most of this offense has come since Aldridge was passed over as
a reserve for the Western Conference All-Star team, announced Feb.
“I think he’s an All-Star,” Portland guard Wesley Matthews
said. “He’s an All-Star 10 times out of 10. He makes shots. That’s
what he does.”
The Timberwolves (13-41) would probably agree.
Aldridge, who leads the Blazers in scoring at 22.1 points, is
averaging 33.7 points on 62.1 percent shooting and 10.7 rebounds in
three games against Minnesota this season.
The Wolves might also make a case for Matthews to be an
All-Star, as well.
Matthews is averaging 26.7 points this season against Minnesota
– 10.4 better than his season average. He finished with 24 points
Sunday, and the Blazers, winners of 10 of 14, are 14-6 when he
scores at least 20.
Regardless of how many points Aldridge and Matthews score, the
Wolves have had no answer for Portland, losing 15 straight in the
series since a 94-93 home win March 25, 2007.
This is Minnesota’s second-longest active losing streak,
trailing only a 16-game skid to San Antonio.
The Wolves are coming off Saturday’s 107-87 loss to
Philadelphia, their second straight defeat following surprising
road wins over New Orleans and Houston. Minnesota, 4-16 since Jan.
3, shot just 36.4 percent against the 76ers, and Kevin Love had a
bit of an off night.
Love had 16 points and 13 rebounds for his 40th consecutive
double-double, but this came after he averaged 23.0 points and 15.3
boards in his previous three games. The first-time All-Star is
averaging 23.7 points and 17.7 rebounds against Portland this
“For whatever reason, we weren’t there tonight,” coach Kurt
Rambis said. “A good chunk of our guys, at least half of our guys,
just weren’t there.”
The Wolves sorely missed Michael Beasley’s offense against
Philadelphia, but he is hoping to return to the lineup Monday after
sitting out the last three games with a sprained ankle. Beasley is
averaging 20.7 points against the Blazers this season.