After losing three straight games to Eastern Conference teams, the Mavericks will try to end their woes against the Minnesota Timberwolves. And what better team to get back on track through than the second-worst team in the NBA? The Mavericks have won their last five against Minnesota, but history is a bit irrelevant in previewing a matchup with the current T'Wolves squad. Because...
KG out, youngsters in
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Kevin Garnett was traded to Boston this off season, leaving the T'Wolves in full-fledged rebuilding mode. Of all the offers that were rumored to be floating around out there, the one they accepted from Boston was likely the one that fit their organizational direction best. In case you forgot who was involved in the trade:
Timberwolves send to Boston: Kevin Garnett
Celtics send to Minnesota: Forwards Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green; guards Sebastian Telfair; center Theo Ratliff, two future first-round draft picks
Jefferson developing nicely
Fourth-year power forward Al Jefferson was the biggest piece Minnesota received, and he's a very promising big man with loads of potential. Jefferson made a huge jump from his second year in Boston to his third with his production going up almost 220 percent. Since moving to Minnesota, Jefferson has stepped up even further and is putting up solid numbers and developing quickly. He even boosted his free throw percentage from 67.4 percent in his last season with Boston to 79.4 percent so far with Minnesota.
McCants starting to pan out
Minnesota's first rounder in 2005 (and their second first-round pick since 1999) Rashad McCants has also started to come into his own after two seasons of slim playing time and low production. McCants is the Timberwolves second leading scorer behind Jefferson and scored a career-high 33 against Sacramento earlier this season.
'Toine with another home
Just when you thought Antoine Walker might have landed on one team for the rest of his career, he gets traded again. From Boston to Dallas to Atlanta, then back to Boston then Miami and now Minnesota, Walker has bounced around quite a bit in the last five years. Traded just before the beginning of the regular season for Ricky Davis, Walker comes into a situation he was familiar with in his short stint with Atlanta. He's started to step up as a team leader and will likely work as a mentor to many of the T'Wolves' young forwards. He is the team's leading three-point shooter and third-leading scorer. Look for him to be amped up against his old team.