Posted November 04, 2012 on
AP on Fox
The Minnesota Timberwolves may be in position to gain a rare win over the Toronto Raptors.
The Timberwolves have lost 14 of their last 15 in this series and eight straight in Toronto heading into Sunday night's matchup with the 0-2 Raptors.
Minnesota (1-0) hasn't won in Toronto since Jan. 21, 2004. But the Timberwolves, who visit Brooklyn on Monday, start their first set of back-to-back games as the rested team after the Raptors fell 107-100 on the road to the Nets on Saturday.
"I'm just looking forward to Toronto, one game," Minnesota guard Brandon Roy said. "It's a big game for us and then focus on Brooklyn after that one."
The Timberwolves showcased some depth in their frontcourt even without the injured Kevin Love in their opener, a 92-80 victory over Sacramento on Friday. New big men Andrei Kirilenko, Dante Cunningham and Greg Stiemsma all helped Minnesota enjoy a 53-43 cushion on the glass, and the Timberwolves held a 52-42 advantage in points in the paint.
"This team is deep. We have a lot of guys that are just raring to go at any minute," said Cunningham, who grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
That frontcourt strength could provide a major advantage against Toronto, which has been outrebounded by slight margins in its first two games and outscored in the paint by a total of 28 points.
The offense has revolved mostly around Kyle Lowry, who is averaging 24.5 points and 8.0 assists. The three Raptors comprising their starting frontcourt, meanwhile, have totaled 45 points - 29 from Andrea Bargnani.
"Unless it's Andrea, we really don't establish ourself in the post," coach Dwane Casey admitted.
Center Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 10 rebounds in a 90-88 loss to Indiana on Wednesday to join Damon Stoudamire as the only rookies in team history to debut with a double-double. Valanciunas was limited to two points and three boards in 12 minutes Friday.
Toronto is off to its worst start since losing its first nine games seven years ago.
"We've had two games in which we've been in the same situation, playing really well at times and then we fall behind," guard Jose Calderon said. "But we've fought hard against Indiana and the Brooklyn Nets, which are going to be two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. That gives us a lot of confidence."
The Timberwolves are seeking to improve offensively after shooting 36.8 percent in their opener. J.J. Barea led the way with 21 points and five assists off the bench.
"I think J.J. made some really good plays on the pick and rolls," coach Rick Adelman said. "He made really good decisions and found guys near the basket."
Roy shot 4 of 14 - missing all five 3-point attempts - to finish with 10 points and six assists in 30 minutes in his Minnesota debut and first NBA action in two seasons after chronic pain in both of his knees caused him to initially retire.
"It's good to know that I was able to handle it well," Roy said. "My knees felt great, besides some cramps. First game back, I'm excited going forward."
BEST OF MAXIM
The Timberwolves are trying to tread water until Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio return from their respective injuries.
MINNEAPOLIS Rick Adelman told Brandon Roy not to worry about the missed shots. Dont worry about the 10 field goals, the five three-pointers, the two free throws. Theyll come.
My, what a positive after a 92-80 win that came in spite of the Timberwolves offense, in spite of Roys shooting, in spite of so much. But Adelman isnt delusional. Hes been doing this too long to be. Hes had...
posted by Romy AquinoSo everyone has already seen the Amir Johnson photos taken from Toronto's 2012 Zombie Walk but recently he posted on his own YouTube channel, AmirTV, with video footage from start to finish. Definitely shoutouts to that professional makeup artist and her amazing job on Zombie Amir. HIP HOOP JUNKIES linkage!Twitter: @hiphoopjunkiesFacebook: 'Like...
The story every basketball fan will be talking about around the water cooler this season is Brandon Roy’s return to the NBA.
The sneakers you see above belong to Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson. He wore them in his team’s opener against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. The face you see on those sneakers also belongs to Amir Johnson.
It takes a certain type of person to want their own face looking back at them when they look down at their feet, but to each his own. LeBron James was wearing...
Episode 30 of RAPS TALK (11.05.12) - It's the NBA regular season, peeps! This week we discuss the opening week of the Toronto Raptors season, talk about DeMar's contract extension, and review NBATV's 'Open Gym'. We also have our regular segments "Hoop Heads Humour of the Week" and "The Wenningtons of the Week", enjoy!If you're new...
J.J. Barea had 21 points and five assists in 28 minutes for Minnesota, helping the Timberwolves overcome a weak shooting performance in their season opener and beat the Sacramento Kings 92-80 on Friday night.
Brandon Roy pitched in 10 points, six assists and five rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko added 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists as both players returned to NBA action...
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan each scored 22 points, Alan Anderson had 18 and the Toronto Raptors earned their first victory of the season Sunday night, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-86.
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I don’t remember where I heard it or read it. I think it was on listening to commentary during a pre-season game. Someone said that he didn’t think Kyle Lowry would do well this season. He was coming off a career year with the Houston Rockets and was now with a new team, the Toronto Raptors. The outlook wasn’t looking good that he would replicate his stellar season. I listened...
Jonas, perhaps on his first day of 8th grade
Use the comments here to discuss the game as you wish, or as always, join and chat in the forums in the game thread that you should hopefully be able to find. Also, there is still plenty of time to get involved in the very fun TIMBERPUP GAME this season, so post your game predictions and get involved in the challenges that the wise...
The Raptors had designs of going into the brand new Barclays Center and taking the home opener away from the Brooklyn Nets, with Jay-Z & Beyonce in attendance for the home opener's festivities watching from their first row courtside seats....but on this night, that wasn't to be.The Raptors opened the game on fire, putting up 35 points (on 15 of 24 shooting, for 62.5%...
Brooklyn made a winning return to major pro sports on Saturday
night, as the Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 107-100 in the first
game at Barclays Center.