- NBA commisioner David Stern is in town for tonight’s game. In a pregame conference he addressed, among other things, the plan to refurbish the Target Center, the plan for Wolves owner Glen Taylor to eventually sell the team, and the possibility of someday having individual corporate sponsorships on team jerseys. Regarding the latter item, he said: “Yes, we are approaching that day. I’m not a huge fan of that subject, the conversations have gone one with me sort of on the sideline. Because actually right now we are the only league that doesn’t have corporate representation on the jerseys. We don’t even have the name of the manufacturer on the jerseys. And that’s something that I have been very proud of. But there is a revenue opportunity and so taking advantage of that becomes a subject (of conversation). And so, yes, I think it will happen. It’s not going to happen this season. It’s not going to happen next season.”
- Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli are expected to miss tonight’s game. Duncan has a sore left knee and Ginobli has a tight left hamstring. Duncan is having one of his best seasons ever and the Spurs have lost the only game he has sat out this season.
- Minnesota forward Andrei Kirilenko will be presented with the Euroscar European Player of the Year during halftime of tonight’s game. This award is given to the best European player, regardless of where he plays and is based both on professional and national team performances. This is Kirilenko’s first time receiving this honor.
- The Spurs have won their last 10 games and their 38-11 record is the best record in the league. They are 4th in the league in scoring (104.1 ppg), 2nd in field goal percentage (.487), 1st in assists (25.3 apg), and 2nd in point per game differential (+8.4). They have also 23 of the last 26 meeting with the Wolves, including a 106-88 victory in San Antonio on January 13.
- Tony Parker has scored 20-plus points 28 times this season, including in seven of the last eight games. He has scored 30-plus six times. And he leads all guards in field goal percentage at 53.4 percent.
- Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio continues to return to form. Over the last eight games, he is averaging 11.2 points per game, 8.0 assists per game, and 2.2 steals per game. Last game he notched 10 assists in the fourth quarter alone, tying a Wolves’ record for assists in a quarter.
– Jim Beilby