Wizards vs. Timberwolves preview: Is Minny the NBA's most exciting team?

USA TODAY Sports

The streaking (in a bad way) Washington Wizards host the Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Here's what you need to know.

These are some dark days in Washington. The Wizards have lost four in a row and the pressure on the players and coaching staff is getting worse every day. There are more and more signs that Randy Wittman is on the hot seat, and a matchup with 7-4 Minnesota Timberwolves is not going to make his life any easier.

Where and when? Tip off is at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center.

Why should I care? The Timberwolves might be the most entertaining team in the NBA. That they're playing a flashy, up-tempo style while winning a lot of games only adds to the entertainment level. Kevin Love is playing like an MVP, Ricky Rubio is like a cross between Rajon Rondo and White Chocolate, Corey Brewer is on one end of a highlight play almost every night and Kevin Martin is playing as well as ever.

Who's out? Chase Budinger and Ronny Turiaf are definitely out, while Shabazz Muhammad is day to day for Minnesota. Washington is definitely going to be without Otto Porter, Trevor Ariza and Chris Singleton, while Al Harrington is still listed as day to day.

Are they good? Very, and almost out of nowhere. Minnesota currently has the NBA's sixth-best offense and its sixth-best defense on a per possession basis while playing at the league's second fastest pace, per Basketball Reference. After years of injuries and poor draft picks, the Love-Rubio-Pekovic nucleus has finally come together under Rick Adelman to become one of the NBA's best teams.

What are they good at? Scoring on the break. What happens when you combine one of the best outlet passers, a point guard who loves getting out in transition, a wing who loves to run the floor and leak out on the break and a defense that causes a ton of turnovers? Stuff like this.

What are they bad at? Minnesota is still lacking a true center who can shut down the paint at a high level. Minnesota's a middle-of-the-pack team at rim protection, per NBA.com's stats page. In a related story, they've blocked fewer shots than all but two other teams, Pekovic blocks less than one shot per game and no one on the team is averaging more than one rejection per game. This clearly hasn't prevented the team from fielding an elite defense, but it could become a big issue against teams that have multiple players who can get all the way to the rim on their own.

Who wins tonight? Washington's backs are against the wall and Minnesota is playing on the road, but the Timberwolves are still the favorites here. If the Wizards are going to pull this one out, they're going to need Bradley Beal to take advantage of the Wolves' perimeter defenders leaving their man to leak out in transition or gamble for steals.

More from Bullets Forever:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bullets Forever

You must be a member of Bullets Forever to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bullets Forever. You should read them.

Join Bullets Forever

You must be a member of Bullets Forever to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bullets Forever. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker